Aviation Collections

Beverly E. Golemba (1935- )
Human computers: the women in aeronautical research: typescript, 1994
0.21 linear ft.
Number: MS 307
Description: This typescript documents the women who performed the mathematical calculations for the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) Program in the 1940s, prior to the advent of mechanical computers. Based on interviews, Golemba details the backgrounds, careers, and personal lives each participant. Those included are: Vivian Adair, Rowena Becker, Margaret Block, Marie Burcher, Betty Farmer, Vera Huckel, Mary Jackson, Helen Johnson, Emma Jean Landrum, Kathryn Peddrew, Dorothy Vaughan, Barbara Weigel, and Helen Willey. This collection also contains an index to women scientists and engineers in Golemba's Lesser-Known Women: A Biographical Dictionary.
Status: Processed
Finding Aid: Online.

Iowa Aviation Collection, 1877-1964, n.d.
Extent: 3.01 linear ft.
Number: MS 141.
Description: The collection contains a variety of materials which document the early days of flight in Iowa, including photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and scrapbooks.  Robert C. Mikesh, native Iowan, Air Force pilot, author, and Curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, collected these materials.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online.

Curtiss JN-4 crash in Iowa corn field     Sunset Patrol, 1940

Curtiss JN-4 crash in an Iowa corn field, n.d.         Sunset Patrol, 1940.
greeting card commemorating resumption of flight to Ottumwa
Greeting card issued by the Ottumwa Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the resumption
of flight in Ottumwa, December 1, 1947.

Conceptual drawing of Delta winged jets flying in formation, 1934
Alexander M. Lippisch, n.d.

Alexander Lippisch (1894-1976). Papers, 1900-1990.
Number: MS 243
Extent: 69.87 linear ft.
Description: Alexander Martin Lippisch was born in 1894 in Munich, Germany, to Franz and Clara (Commichau) Lippisch. Alexander was educated at schools in Berlin and Jena; and enlisted in Germany's armed forces in 1915. He served as an aerial photographer and mapper. In 1943, he was awarded a doctoral degree from the University of Heidelberg.  From 1918-1945, Lippisch held various positions in aviation in Germany: as a designer, aerodynamicist, and director of research. In 1946, he emigrated with his family to the U.S., where he worked for the Dept. of Defense. From 1950-1964, Alexander worked for the Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and after his retirement, was employed as a design consultant. Lippisch worked on a variety of research projects throughout his career, including smoke tunnel visualization, remote powered vehicles, delta shaped wings, and aerofoil boats.

Alexander Lippisch
Conceptual drawing of Delta winged jets
flying in formation, 1934.

This collection contains biographical materials, subject files, research files, publications, correspondence, patent materials, photographs and other visual materials, drawings and blueprints, and films. The records document Lippisch's life and work, including biographical and career items, the history of aviation, research materials focusing on human powered flight, data tables, delta wing plane information, test results, the work of Lippisch in aerodynamic theory, and correspondence regarding his research. The visual materials, including the films, also document his research in aviation. A 1997 accretion also records the work of Lippisch at Collins Aeronautical Research Laboratory (CARL) and Collins Marine Laboratory, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Some materials are in German.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online.


Delta IV single engine, one seat prototype, 1935    Delta IV single engine, two seat, n.d.
Delta IV single engine, one seat prototype, 1935.  Delta IV single engine, two seat, n.d.

Collins Aeronautical Research Laboratory (CARL), 1959United States patent issued to Lippisch for his design of the Aircraft Aerofoil, 1933
Collins Aeronautical Research Laboratory (CARL), 1959.  United States patent issued to Lippisch for his design of the Aircraft Aerofoil, 1933.
Ann Holtgren Pellegreno. Papers, 1845-2000.
Extent: 11.85 linear ft.
Number: MS 360
[N.B. access to this collection requires permission; please contact Special Collections]

Brochure for Weeks Aircraft Corp  
page from Jack Kirstein scrapbook
Brochure for the Weeks Aircraft Corp.     Part of a page from Jack Kirstein’s scrapbook, 1940s
of N.C., n.d.

Description: Ann Holtgren Pellegreno was raised in the Chicago area and graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a degree in music.  In 1967, while an English teacher in Michigan, Pellegreno piloted a rebuilt 1937 Lockheed Electra 10A around the world in commemoration of the thirty-year anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s historic voyage. She documented the experience in her 1971 book, World Flight: The Earhart Trail (ISU Press). Pellegreno moved to Iowa in 1969.  In 1980, she published the first volume of Iowa Takes to the Air (Aerodrome Press), and six years later the second volume was published.  Pellegreno was inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame in 1990.

This collection consists of Pellegreno's research material: correspondence, clippings, manuscript drafts, and biographical files relating to the history of aviation.  Among the paper records, photographs, audiotapes, and ephemera is information about Lincoln Beachy, Clarence Chamberlin,
Ellen Church, the Donaldson Brothers, Carl H. Duede, Ila Fox, Neil J. McCoubrey, Clarence Norton, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Wright Brothers, and several Iowa air shows.
Status: Processed; restricted (see above).
Finding Aid: Contact Special Collections.

Barnstorming in West Liberty
Lloyd Royer and Babe Reed barnstorming in
West Liberty, Iowa, 1920

Milton Sage Robertson (1892-1987). Films, 1933-1988, undated.
Extent: 0.21 linear feet.
Number: MS 325
Description: Milton S. Robertson was the inventor of a rotary brush atomiser for crop spraying in 1930, and he organized the Independent Crop Dusting Company of San Francisco, California, in the early 1930s. His business was centered in the farm and fruit lands around San Francisco, Modesto, Fresno, and Brentwood, California. Robertson was inducted into the National Agricultural Aviation Museum Hall of Fame in 1983 and was later presented the National Agricultural Aviation Association's Agrinaut award.
Collection contains ten 8mm films made by Robertson in the 1930s to show farmers the advantages of aerial crop dusting and to teach pilots the techniques of the business. It also includes five photocopied articles (1933, 1984, 1987) regarding Robertson's pioneering work in crop dusting and his invention of the crop-spraying device.
Status: Processed.
Finding Aid: Online.