Charles Stark Draper Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.2001.0019
Creators:
Draper, Charles Stark, 1901-1987
Dates:
1941-1978
Languages:
English
English
Physical Description:
1.36 Cubic Feet
3 boxes
Repository:
Charles Stark Draper was the leading figure behind the use of inertial navigation in aircraft, spacecraft, ballistic missiles, and submarines. This collection of memorabilia largely relates to Draper's career at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, his contributions to the military, and to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection of memorabilia consists of certificates, diplomas, citations, and awards bestowed upon Charles Stark Draper, as well as several photographs, and a photographic copy of a filed patent for a lead angle computer for gunsights. These materials relate to Draper's career at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, his contributions to the military, and to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Also included are certificates awarded to him by the Arthur Murray Studio for his performances in dance.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The materials in this collection are arranged by type and chronologically. During processing, the various oversized materials have been placed in appropriately sized boxes. They are organized in each box by organization or institution granting the honor (citation, diploma, certificate) and then chronologically.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Charles Stark Draper was the leading figure behind the use of inertial navigation in aircraft, spacecraft, ballistic missiles, and submarines. He was born in Windsor, Missouri, in 1901. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University in 1922. He went on to earn a B.S. in electrochemical engineering and a Ph.D. in physics in 1938 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). One year later, Draper joined the faculty at MIT and helped establish the school's Instrumentation Laboratory. During the next thirty years, he performed research and directed the Instrumentation Laboratory, developing systems such as the gyroscopic shoebox gunsight that led to the derivative Mark 14 gunsight used by U.S. Navy shipboard antiaircraft weaponry in World War II. Draper also developed inertial guidance systems utilized in the Polaris, Poseidon, Trident I and II submarine launched missiles, as well as the Atlas and Titan launch vehicles. During the 1960s, he and the Laboratory created the inertial navigation system employed by the Moon-bound spacecraft of the Apollo program. In 1969, at the height of student protests over military contracts and university research, the politically conservative Draper was asked to step down from his position as director of the Instrumentation Laboratory. Four years after his departure, the Instrumentation Laboratory split away from MIT and formed the non-profit Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.
Draper served in the U.S. Air Corps Reserve from 1926 to 1942, resigning as a first lieutenant. Throughout his career, Draper was the recipient of numerous medals, awards, and distinctions, including the National Medal of Science and induction into the Inventor's Hall of Fame. He was also an avid amateur ballroom dancer. For years, he studied and trained with the Arthur Murray Studio. Draper died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1987.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged and described by Jeremy Linden and Mark Kahn, 2001.
Encoded by Amanda Buel, 2014.
Author
Jeremy Linden and Mark Kahn
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Charles Stark Draper, Gift to Astronautics Department, 1975
Space History Department, Transfer, 2001

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
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.
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
Charles Stark Draper Collection, Acc. 2001-0019, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Astronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/