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  • Aviation
  • Exploration, Expeditions and Voyages
Document Type
Wars & Conflicts
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Location of Archival Materials

Hagley Museum and Library 

Wilmington, DE

Hagley Museum and Library 
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Records, 1935-1983

The records of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association include minutes of the Board of Directors, Executive, and Operating Committees, as well as quarterly reports to the trustees, executive officer correspondence, files on local units, selected membership files, bulletins and publicity scrapbooks. The records document the organization's efforts to shape civil aviation policy and promote private flying.

38.5 feet and 2,819 photographs


Albert, John S.
Papers, 1867-1874

John S. Albert was born in 1835. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1855 from New York and was named Chief Engineer in 1861. He served with distinction during the Civil War and died in 1880.

The diary portion of the volume covers the period between August 1868 and November 1874 and was kept during cruises to Central and South America. It contains references to the 1868 earthquakes in Bolivia and Peru. The volume also contains copies of about 50 letters from Albert to various naval figures, primarily relating to ships' trials and engine performances.

1 volume


Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Photographs, 1786-1966

The Bethlehem Steel Collection has been divided into groups and series. There are photographs of individuals and groups. This includes Bethlehem management, Charles Schwab, Eugene Grace, and board of directors' photographs. In addition to portraits of these men, there are views of their estates (including Schwab's "Riverside" in Manhattan designed by architect Maurice Herbert), travel photographs and personal items. There is another file of 95 portraits of men who were related to the steel industry.

There are photographs having a geographic relationship to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the company's headquarters, include industrial views, office buildings, and city and community views. There are aerials of the city dated 1958-1959. A noteworthy inclusion is "Bethlehem Plant Inspection, June 1927," a booklet commemorating Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis flight; the aircraft's forgings were made by Bethlehem.

The photographs of Bethlehem plants and steel-related enterprises within Pennsylvania are composed of steel plants at Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Saucon and Williamsport. There are also photographs from the Johnstown plant; this includes some early Cambria Iron Company images. Mining and mining town photographs include images from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Photographs related to Bethlehem Fabrication include a small quantity of plant views. There are more photographs showing projects: bridges (Golden Gate, Oakland Bay, Chesapeake Bay, George Washington), buildings (the Auburn, New York, prison et al) and dams (Bonneville, Boulder, Grand Coulee). Photographs of old iron furnaces in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and mostly Pennsylvania relate to early iron making technology. In addition there are related images of press forges, steel hammers, the Kelly converter, and reproductions of iron forges from Diderot's Encyclopedia. The artwork and engravings in the collection relate to industrial subjects (chiefly steel making). There are also some noteworthy eighteenth century prints of Niagara Falls.

The majority of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. photographic collection is organized by location.

8,326 photographic prints, 15,991 negatives, and 35 items


Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Records, 1860-1947

The records of the subsidiary and predecessor companies of Bethlehem Steel Corporation consist of a series of fragments collected in the 1950s and 1960s by the company's archivist and by the Charles M. Schwab Memorial Library. The bulk of the records are design and construction drawings for vessels built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd., and its predecessors. The best coverage is available from the Wilmington, Delaware, yard. The ship drawings are only partially processed.

There are small quantities of executive documents for a few of the companies. Minutes are available for the Bethlehem Iron Company, the Cornwall Ore Banks, and the Harlan & Hollingsworth Corporation. A few important managerial and technical reports can be found in the records of the Bethlehem Iron Company, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd., and the Pennsylvania Steel Company. The records of the Lackawanna Iron & Steel Company include descriptions, plans, and analysis of the blast furnaces built at Lackawanna in 1900. Some production statements are available for the Bethlehem Iron Company and the Cambria Iron Company. Metallurgical analyses of blast furnace consumption and output are available for the Lackawanna Iron & Steel Company, the Lackawanna Steel Company, and the Pennsylvania Steel Company. The records of the Cambria Steel Company include correspondence from the engineering department concerning plant improvements, company houses and building the town of Westmont, reservoirs, and pipelines.

The records of the W. & A. Fletcher Company include a vertical file on turn-of-the-century steamboat developments created by Andrew Fletcher, Jr. Fletcher also collected timetables and annual passes from a number of eastern steamboat companies and railroads.

110 feet


Boeing Vertol
Records, 1943-1967

The Boeing Vertol records reflect development, manufacture, testing, improvement, and sale of helicopters, especially for military use in Vietnam. The collection includes board of directors' minutes, reports of the directors, executive committee minute books, contract legal papers, assembly, design, fabrication, and quality control records. There are also occasional minutes and other documents of national and local trade associations, as well as minutes (1952-1953) for Philadelphia International House, Inc.

12 feet 


Borglin, Joseph N.
Papers, 1943-1946

The records consist of typescripts of two works by Borglin, Treatise on Vinsol Resin, in 1943 and 1946 editions, and the two-volume edition of Treatise on Rosin (1945). One of the chapters in the latter work is titled, "History and Manufacture of Naval Stores Products," and includes photos of the various work processes involved in extracting pitch and pine tar.

4 volumes


Color Association of the United States
Records, 1915-1983

The archives of the Color Association of the United States (CAUS) is a fragmentary collection of records dating from its founding in 1915 to 1983. The records are arranged in three series: I. Corporate Records; II. Color Standardization Services (Subseries A-Government, and Subseries B-Industry); and III. Color Forecasts (Subseries A-Seasonal Bulletins, and Subseries B-Color Cards).

The corporate records include minutes of both Board of Directors' meetings and annual meetings; a few annual and financial reports; name change file; staff files; general correspondence; committee meeting memo books; membership files; Standard Color Card Reference of America files; color determination files; advertising files; and a history file. The staff files include information regarding organization and job descriptions. The membership files are most complete for the years between 1978 and 1982, although there are meeting and information notices dating from 1915-1920. The color determination files date from 1940 to 1968 and describe publications about color harmony, color measurement, the Plochere Color System, references books, and spectrophotometric and colormetric determination. The history file is thin but includes a copy of the first printed association color card.

The Color Standardization Services files for government document CAUS' interaction with various branches of the Armed Forces (particularly Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy), the American Red Cross, Atomic Energy Commission, U.S. Capitol and the White House, Commerce Dept., Dept. of Defense, Postal Service and Veterans Administration, and date from 1929-1977. The White House file includes cloth samples of inaugural dresses. A file concerning the standardization of the colors of the U.S. flag follows.

14 feet


Cooling, B. Franklin

B. Franklin Cooling is an economic historian who studied at the University of Pennsylvania under Thomas C. Cochran. He subsequently specialized in military-industrial relations and was the author of Grey Steel and Blue Water Navy: The Formative Years of America's Military Industrial Complex, 1881-1917 (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1979). Cooling began his research at the Center for Advanced Research at the Naval War College and completed it while Assistant Director for Historical Services at the U.S. Army Military Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

The records consist of Dr. Cooling's research notes used in the production of Grey Steel and Blue Water Navy. They consist of typed notes and transcriptions made by Dr. Cooling, along with a large volume of photocopied and microfilmed pages from manuscript collections. Chief among these are the records of the Navy Department at the National Archives and the B.F. Tracy, Andrew Carnegie, and Josephus Daniels Papers at the Library of Congress. The bulk of the material is concerned with the development of naval ordnance and armor plate, its composition, manufacture and testing; correspondence with English and U.S. manufacturers; and reports and studies by the Steel Inspections Boards, the Gun Foundry Board, Naval Advisory Board, Armor Factory Board, and Torpedo Board.

9.3 feet and 10 microfilm reels


Ferracute Machine Company
Records, 1863-1982

The Ferracute Machine Company records are not a complete archive, but rather a series of fragments assembled by Arthur J. Cox for the preparation of a company history. The administrative papers include samples of executive correspondence, a report on operations, organization charts and lists of Ferracute distributors. Advertising records include drafts of advertisements; press clippings; a company publication, Ferracute Field (1939-40); and press views for Ferracute ads.

5 feet, 84 reels, and 946 items


Hopper, Grace
Oral History, 1979

In this oral history interview which was done with Philip F. Holmer of Sperry Univac on July 20, 1979, Dr. Hopper talks about her career as a programmer at the Harvard Computation Laboratory, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, Sperry Univac, and the U.S. Navy. She describes contributions to developing programming languages for the Mark I, ENIAC, BINAC, and UNIVAC computers. Dr. Hopper relates her experiences developing the Mauchly Short Code, the A-O compiler, MATH-A-MATIC, COBOL, UNIVAC Flowmatic, and the Naval Tactical Data System. She also describes her experiences installing the UNIVAC I at the Westinghouse Corporation and at United States Steel in the early 1950s.

3 cassettes


Johnston, Archibald
Papers, 1894-1923

The bulk of this collection is concerned with Johnston's work at Bethlehem Steel; a smaller portion consists of strictly personal papers. The correspondence files of Series I cover such subjects as ordnance contracts with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Italy, Russia and Turkey in the pre-World War I years (c. 1906-1913), general business correspondence and memoranda, sales letters, promotion notices, proposals and inquiries, etc. Correspondence regarding Bethlehem Steel's patent infringement suits with Midland Steel and Niles-Bement-Pond Company (1905-1909) are included. Also covered are ore mines in Cuba, Puerto Rico, New York and New Jersey.

Series II comprises reports and test data on armor plate manufacturing processes, ballistic tests, and financial, manufacturing and cost reports. Notes and notebooks, reports on foreign and domestic inspection trips, plant expansion projects, products (such as railroad rails, tool steel and ordnance items) are also found in this series.

The legal documents series deals with various contracts from the 1908-1913 period. An account book for 1867-1882 for an unidentified shipping company is also contained in the Johnston papers.  Almost no material on Johnston's early years with Bethlehem Steel (1889-1892), when he was in charge of the armor plate and gun forging plants' construction, are to be found in this collection. In addition, papers relating to foreign ordnance sales during the First World War are also lacking.

10 feet


McKay, Donald
Papers, 1864

This 12 page letter was written to James W. Grimes, Senator from Iowa and a member of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs. At the time it was written, Congress was conducting investigations concerning the use of armored vessels by the Navy. McKay refutes criticism of his designs, as well as of Chief Engineer B. F. Isherwood. He praises French engineers and calls for more adequate training of American ones, as well as offering comparative statistics between the performance of British and American naval craft.

1 item


Sperry, Elmer A.
Papers, 1876-1931

The Elmer Sperry papers document Sperry's research and development work and entrepreneurial activities. The Chicago-Cleveland records describe his efforts to develop arc lighting systems, stationary power, electric mining machinery, and electric traction technology. Included are correspondence files and financial records of the Electric Light, Motor, and Car Brake and the Electric Mining Machine companies. Electro-chemistry files include correspondence and reports documenting the development of the white lead process and the business negotiations that took place between the Sperry and Hooker Chemical companies. Also included is correspondence with William F. Dutton of the American Can Company, Leo Baekeland, and with Ernest LeMaire of the Hooker Electrochemical Company.

Gyroscope company records document the development and marketing of the marine and aeronautical instruments, including the gyrocompass, ship stabilizer, high-intensity searchlight, airplane stabilizer, fire control systems, automatic bombsights, and the aerial torpedo. These records describe Sperry's close working relationship with the U.S. Navy and his collaboration with Admiral David W. Taylor and Commander William McEntree. Records also describe Sperry's activities on the Naval Consulting Board. Sales and marketing records contain correspondence with representatives of the British, French, Japanese, and Russian navies.

27 feet


Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company
Records, 1915-1924

In 1915 Elmer Sperry's son, Lawrence, was put in charge of the Sperry Gyroscope Company's aviation department. Two years later, Lawrence founded his own company, the Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company, to develop and market the airplane stabilizer, aerial torpedo, and automatic pilot. Lawrence Sperry was a daring test pilot and his exploits, particularly at the 1916 Paris air show, provided both his company and Sperry Gyroscope with valuable publicity. In 1924 Lawrence Sperry died in an airplane accident, and Sperry Gyroscope acquired the assets of the Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company.

The Lawrence Sperry correspondence describes the development of the aerial torpedo and the involvement of the U.S. Navy's Air Service with the project. The records show that during the early 1920s Elmer Sperry signed over all right to the drift indicator, air distance recorder, airspeed indicator, and air compass to his son's company.

1 foot


Sperry Corporation, Aerospace Division
Records, 1948-1975

Sperry Corporation's Aerospace Division records consist largely of technical papers, research reports, and research and development related correspondence documenting the work of the division and its predecessors from 1948 to 1975. Most of these files appear to have been generated by the office of Sidney Rubens who headed the division from 1957 to 1975.

The collection includes substantial materials documenting the work done by Engineering Research Associates on the development of the magnetic storage drum and magnetic core memory. There are several files describing the 1949 contract negotiated between ERA and IBM to explore aspects of magnetic storage. During the late 1950s and 1960s the division was involved with Project Lighting, a Bureau of Ships project to develop a Tactical Data System for use in space exploration and satellite control. The records include progress reports, project correspondence, and reports on cooperative research programs with RCA and IBM. There are also division quarterly, semi-annual, and annual reports, as well as reports from the Marketing and Defense Planning Departments. The records describe Sperry's involvement in the Mercury, Apollo, and Gemini space programs. It includes copies of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Space technology files.

110 feet


Sperry Corporation, Univac Division
Records, 1877-1970

616 feet and 3,189 photographs


Sperry Gyroscope Company, Incorporated
Records, 1910-1970

The Sperry Gyroscope archive was originally housed in the firm's Public Relations Dept. Consequently, the bulk of the records are a heterogeneous collection assembled to serve advertising and public relations needs. The records document the history of the company from its beginnings. They describe the development and marketing of the marine and airplane stabilizer, the high-intensity searchlight, fire control systems, the gyrocompass, airplane automatic pilot, bombsights, and the aerial torpedo. They trace the evolving relationship between Sperry and the military and the impact of World Wars I and II. There is also a copy of a 1942 oral history interview of Ford Instrument Company founder and Sperry engineer Hannibal C. Ford by Sperry Vice President Robert B. Lea.

76 feet


Sperry Rand Corporation, Engineering Research Associates Division
Records, 1949-1965

The Engineering Research Associates records include correspondence, technical reports and memoranda, minutes of the administrative, manufacturing, planning and engineering committees which describe work on the LARC, ERA 1101 and 1103, the Rapid Selector, and the bore hole camera. There are also records documenting ERA's involvement with the U.S. missile and rocketry programs of the late 1950s. ERA's successful effort to build airborne computers for the Jupiter and Sparrow programs is described. Other projects described include ERA's Rapid Selector, airline reservation system, and high-speed printer. There are several reports which document some of the early work that was done with transistors and efforts to incorporate this into the computers that were being developed during the late 1950s. There are about 1,000 photographs which depict work on the ATLAS, ERA 1101 and 1103 computers. Most of these images document efforts to develop the magnetic core memory system.

18 feet


Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Records, 1890-1982

The Sun Ship archive includes letter books from Robert Wetherill & Company describing the building and marketing of the firm's stationary steam engines. Also included are treasurer's reports, technical, engineering, and design reports, correspondence and photographs relating to the oil tankers and other vessels produced by Sun Ship between 1918 and 1980. Files also document the sale of Sun Ship to the Levingston Shipbuilding Company.

82 feet


Technitrol, Incorporated
Records, 1945-1976

The collection consists of copies of trial records collected by Seymour C. Yuter, a patent attorney for Technitrol, Inc. They include documents from the interlocking suits of Technitrol v. Control Data Corp., Technitrol v. Sperry Rand, and Technitrol v. U.S.A., which came to trial between the late 1950s and the mid 1970s. The principal point at issue was, who was the inventor of the magnetic storage drum. The records provide a fascinating picture of the early history of the computer industry and trace the role played by the military in the years immediately after World War II.

The first series documents the work done at Harvard University's Computation Laboratory between 1948 and 1955 under the direction of Howard Aiken. Included is a copy of Aiken's "Investigation for the Design of a Digital Calculating Machine," which describes the development of the Mark IV computer. The discovery documents shed some light on the history of Engineering Research Associates, which has always been shrouded in secrecy because of the firm's involvement with the Navy's cryptographic program. The documents show that as early as 1943 the Navy recognized that the computer, with its ability to rapidly manipulate data streams, was a natural tool for encoding and decoding messages. The Navy's most successful wartime unit was led by Commander Howard T. Engstrom, in peacetime a professor of mathematics at Yale, and Lieutenant Commander William C. Norris, who had been a sales engineer for Westinghouse. After the War, Norris established ERA with the encouragement of Secretary of the Navy Forrestal, and it was soon the most advanced computer company in the world. It developed the ATLAS, the first stored-memory digital computer.

23 feet


USE, Incorporated
Records, 1955-1982

The USE records (1955-1980) include proceedings of membership meetings, minutes of policy and standards committees, membership lists, newsletters, technical papers, program abstracts and financial records. There is also correspondence describing the organization of the USE triennial meetings. These files provide an interesting perspective on software development. They describe the problems associated with various software programs and trace the company's efforts to make its software more powerful, intelligible, and responsive to user demands.

25 feet


Wurts, Samuel G.
Journal, 1800-1803

Samuel G. Wurts was the eldest brother of Maurice, William and John Wurts, founders of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. Samuel was born in northwestern New Jersey at the site of his father's iron foundry and was apparently trained in that work. During 1800-1803 he signed on the U.S. Frigate Constellation, after which he traveled to central Pennsylvania to take a position as clerk at Bedford Furnace.

The major part of the diary covers the period from November 1, 1800, when Wurts joins Constellation at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, to April 13, 1903, when he musters out at Washington, D.C. The style is basic, daily information in one or two lines. Occasionally, for some periods of time, when his ship is repairing, watering or "cruizing," there are no daily entries. Much can be learned from these brief entries about the movements of Constellation and life on board a Navy ship of the day: ports of call in the West Indies and the Mediterranean; sailing times between them; the movement of $100,000 in specie from Havana to Philadelphia; the amount of time needed to provision, refit, repair, water, and in one instance raise Constellation from the bottom of the Delaware River after she had foundered.

1 volume

10 May 2002

Published: Thu Jun 26 12:49:36 EDT 2014