Elton Ross Silliman Papers,
1930-1982
NASM.1989.0050

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.1989.0050
Creators:
Silliman, Elton Ross, 1902-
Dates:
1930-1982
Languages:
Multiple languages
Spanish
English
Physical Description:
1.35 cubic feet
3 boxes
Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives Division
This collection consists of Elton Silliman's personal and business papers. The material consists of correspondence, photographs, and documents pertaining to airline operations during the period 1930-1960, as well as airport and hotel financial records. The material also includes club and society reports and membership lists.

Scope and Content
Scope and Content
[For brevity’s sake, Pan American Airways, Inc. and Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. will be referred to in this finding aid as PAA and CMA respectively.]
This collection consists mainly of Elton Ross Silliman’s business papers. These papers relate to his career with PAA and its subsidiary, CMA. Both companies had Silliman operating out of Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean and interacting with many Latin Americans prominent in the fields of aviation, government, and industry. Consequently, much of the correspondence, handbooks, and newspaper clippings are in the Spanish language. No attempt was made during processing to translate these materials. Included in these papers are PAA and CMA expense and financial reports, photographs and miscellaneous materials. This collection also includes a small amount of materials (personal correspondence) pertaining to Silliman’s personal life – in particular, his interest in hunting rifles and the death of his father in 1950.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Silliman’s papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Correspondence, financial reports, photographs, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous materials are organized by the former method. Handbooks and directories are grouped alphabetically by title.
The following series are recognizable within the collection:
Series I: Correspondence - Professional
Series II: Correspondence - Personal
Series III: Financial Reports
Series IV: Handbooks and Directories
Series V: Photographs
Series VI: Newspaper Clippings
Series VII: Miscellaneous Materials

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Elton Ross Silliman was an airline executive and manager in Latin America for Aerovias Centrales, S.A., Pan American Airways (PAA), Inc. and PAA subsidiary, Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. (CMA). As an American citizen living and working in this field throughout Central America and Mexico for several decades, he helped develop and expand U.S. commercial air service south of the Rio Grande. During 1931-32, he organized Aerovias Centrales, S.A. in Mexico. He joined PAA in 1933 as the company’s special representative in Central America, Panama, Venezuela, and the Dutch West Indies. In 1943, Silliman became general manager for CMA. He retired from this position in the 1960s.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged and described by Mark Kahn, 2002.
Encoded by Rena Schergen, 2012.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Mark Kahn
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Mrs. Elton R. Silliman, Gift, 1989, 1989-0050

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation note
Elton Ross Silliman Papers, Acc. 1989-0050, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use note
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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aerovias Centrales, S.A. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
CiA Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pan American World Airways, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Commercial Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Commercial--Mexico Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airlines Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexico Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panama Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Venezuela Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives Division
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA, 20151
Phone: 703-572-4045
NASMRefDesk@si.edu