Dr. Hugh L. Dryden Memorabilia

Collection ID:
Dryden, Hugh L. (Hugh Latimer), Dr., 1898-1965
bulk 1940-1965
Physical Description:
1.48 Cubic feet
3 boxes
Dr. Hugh L. Dryden was an aerodynamicist by training, a career civil servant, and a government official. With degrees in physics and mathematics he became chief of the aerodynamics section of the National Bureau of Standards and eventually served as the first deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This collection consists of memorabilia relating to Dryden's career.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection of memorabilia consists of certificates, diplomas, and awards bestowed upon Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, as well as a few miscellaneous items (sheets of commemorative postage stamps, magazine articles, a photograph, and a caricature drawing) belonging to him. These materials relate to Dryden's career as an aerodynamicist and administrator with the National Bureau of Standards, NACA, and NASA.

The materials in each box are arranged chronologically and by type. For preservation purposes, oversized materials have been placed in appropriate-sized containers. This would include certificates, diplomas, sheets of commemorative postage stamps, and photographs. The materials are arranged in each box by the organization or institution granting the honor and then chronologically. Boxes 2 and 3 contain all oversized memorabilia. Included are presentation folders used to hold certificates and diplomas. The contents of these folders were removed and arranged separately.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Dr. Hugh L. Dryden was an aerodynamicist by training, a career civil servant, and a government official. He was born in Pocomoke City, Maryland, in 1898. He graduated from high school at age 14 and went on to earn an A.B. three years later from Johns Hopkins University. In 1919, he earned his Ph.D. in physics and mathematics from the same institution, even though he had been a full-time employee of the National Bureau of Standards since 1918. Dryden became chief of the aerodynamics section of the Bureau in 1920. There, he pioneered research in airflow, turbulence, and especially the problems of the boundary layer--the thin layer of air next to an airfoil that causes drag. This work ultimately contributed to the production of laminar flow wings used in the P-51 Mustang and other World War II aircraft. During the war, his work on a glide bomb named the Bat (the first U.S. guided missile successfully employed in combat) won him a Presidential Certificate of Merit. By the time Dryden left the Bureau of Standards in 1947, he was its associate director. That same year he accepted the position of director for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). He remained at that job until 1958. One of the more notable projects he undertook at NACA was to supervise the development of the X-15 experimental rocket plane. In 1958, he was appointed as the first deputy administrator of a new government agency that replaced NACA--the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dryden stayed on at NASA in this capacity until his death in 1965.

Jeremy Linden and Mark Kahn
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Mrs. Hugh L. Dryden, Gift to Astronautics Department, 1974
Space History Department, Transfer, 2001
Processing Information
Arranged and described by Jeremy Linden and Mark Kahn, 2001.
Encoded by Amanda Buel, 2014.

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
Hugh L. Dryden Certificates, Acc. 2001-0021, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Dryden, Hugh L. (Hugh Latimer), Dr., 1898-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151