Samuel P. Langley Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0494
Creators:
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906
Dates:
1891-1914
bulk 1891-1900
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
24.28 Cubic feet
64 boxes
Repository:
This collection includes information about Samuel P. Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence, manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for the Aerodromes, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, the Langley Memoirs on Mechanical Flight and the Langley "Waste Books."

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection includes information about Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes the Aerodrome project waste books, biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence), manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for staff labor on the project, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, and manuscript material from the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight.
The National Air and Space Museum's Samuel P. Langley Collection was drawn from several sources in the Smithsonian Institution. Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003) for several purposes:
Design papers and notes from Langley's aerodrome project were used for restoring the Langley Aerodromes for exhibits beginning in 1917.
Correspondence from the papers was consulted when controversies arose between the Wright brothers and the Smithsonian, and over credit for the design of the motor built by Stephen M. Balzer and extensively modified by Charles Manly, which was used on Aerodrome A.
Technical drawings of the Aerodromes were drawn from the SIA in the 1970s for conservation purposes.
Other material was added to the collection over the years:
Correspondence, memoranda, notes and label scripts from Langley exhibits from 1913 through the 1960s.
Design notes and work records from Langley's workshop were stored with the Aerodromes in the Museum's collections, and were later transferred to the Archives Division.
Biographical material on Langley, and correspondence to the Museum on Langley and the Aerodromes.
Material from the foundation of the Langley Aerodynamic Laboratory (now NASA's Langley Research Center) in 1913.
In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:
Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.
Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907
Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.
The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.
Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The Samuel P. Langley Collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1 - Waste Books: Langley and his staff used waste books - bound ledgers - to keep records of their work on the aeronautical projects, which Langley inspected frequently.
Series 2 - Scrapbooks: A collection of 18 scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine clippings on "Aerial Navigation". Projects by Langley, Maxim, Lilienthal and many obscure aeronautical experimenters are included. Other clippings are included in Series VIII and XI.
Series 3 - Aeronautical Research and the Aerodromes: This series consists of notes, data, drawings and memoranda from Langley's aeronautical research at both the Smithsonian and the Allegheny Observatory. Subseries 2 contains material used in various Smithsonian exhibitions of the Langley Aerodromes. Some additional material is included in Series 11.
Subseries 3.1 - Design and Construction
Subseries 3.2 - Langley Aerodrome Exhibits
Series 4 - Correspondence: Letters and memoranda written by and sent to S. P. Langley and his assistants, C. M. Manly and J. E. Watkins. Additional correspondence is included in Series 11.
Subseries 4.1 - S. P. Langley Correspondence
Subseries 4.2 - S. P. Langley's Assistants' Correspondence
Subseries 3 - Miscellaneous Correspondence
Series 5 - Manuscripts, Papers, Articles: Manuscripts, published articles and papers by Langley and others. See also Series 11.
Subseries 5.1 - Works by S. P. Langley
Subseries 5.2 - Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Articles, and Notes
Series 6 - Photographs: Photographs, mainly of Langley's Aerodromes. Additional photographs are included with Series 11.
Series 7 - Trade Catalogues and Ephemera: Trade catalogues and price lists from various suppliers and dealers found stored with the "Aerodrome A" at the Museum's Paul E. Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.
Series 8 - Miscellaneous Files
Series 9 - Flat Boxes and Oversized Material: Ledgers, drawings, test data, publications
Series 10 - Shorthand Diaries: A collection of 37 notebooks containing notes in an unidentified shorthand system, dating from 1898 to 1902, with 8 notebooks bearing partial dates or undated.
Series 11 - Additional Material: After the publication of the Langley Collection finding aid, two additional boxes of correspondence, manuscript material, drawings and photographs were found in the Museum's rare book room, the Ramsey Room. This material has been included as a separate series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was an astronomer, a pioneer of aeronautical research, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1887-1906). As a young man, Langley studied civil engineering and pursued this as a career until 1864, when his interest in astronomy led him to positions at the Harvard Observatory, the Naval Academy, the Western University of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh. In 1887, Langley was named Secretary of the Smithsonian, and spent the following years in the research, construction and tests of flying machines. On May 6, 1896, his unpiloted Aerodrome No. 5, powered by a 1hp steam engine, flew nearly three quarters of a mile. This flight surpassed by more than ten times the best efforts of any predecessor. In 1898, at the request of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, Langley started work on another design - the Great Aerodrome, also known as Aerodrome A. However, two attempts at launching the aircraft in 1903 failed. In addition to his scientific experiments, Langley's writings include Experiments in Aerodynamics and The Internal Work of the Wind, and the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, published posthumously. Samuel P. Langley died in Aiken, South Carolina, on February 27, 1906.
A Timeline of Early Aeronautical Milestones and Samuel P. Langley's Life and Career
August 22, 1834
Samuel Pierpont Langley born to Samuel Langley and Mary Sumner Williams Langley in Roxbury Massachusetts.
1843
William Henson and John Stringfellow publish their design for the "Aeriel", a steam-powered "Aerial Steam Carriage".
1845
Langley begins to attend the Boston Latin School.
1847
Henson tests a model of his aircraft.
1848
Stringfellow and Henson build and test a steam powered model aircraft. It has a wingspan of 10 feet (3.5 meters), and it flies 131 feet (40 meters) before crashing into a wall.
1849
Sir George Cayley tests a towed triplane glider. In one test, it flies several yards with a local boy as a passenger.
1851
Langley graduates from the Boston High School; begins work as an apprentice with a Boston architect.
circa 1852-1864
Langley works for architectural and engineering firms in St. Louis and Chicago.
1853
Cayley's coachman flies a glider across Brompton Dale, Yorkshire. The coachman resigns his position after the flight.
Cayley conceives the rubber band–powered model airplane.
Michel Loup designs a powered twin propeller monoplane with a wheeled undercarriage.
1853-1854
L C. Letur tests his parachute-glider design. Letur is killed in a test flight in 1854.
1855
Joseph Pline coins the word "aeroplane" to describe a propeller-driven dirigible.
1857
Jean-Marie Le Bris, a sea captain inspired by the flight of the albatross, builds a glider he names the "Albatros Artificiel" and makes two short hops, breaking his leg in the second.
Félix du Temple, a French naval officer, flies a clockwork model aircraft - the first sustained powered flights by a heavier-than-air machine.
1862
Gabriel de la Landelle coins the word "aviation", and later, "aviateur" - aviator.
1864
Langley returns to Roxbury. He begins work, with his younger brother John, on a five foot focal length telescope, which they complete over three years.
1864-1865
Samuel and John Langley tour Europe.
circa 1865
Langley is hired as observatory assistant at the Harvard University Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
January 1866
The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (later named the Royal Aeronautical Society) is founded.
circa 1866
Langley is hired as assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Duties include restoring the Academy's astronomical observatory to operation.
1867
Langley is named professor of Astronomy and Physics at the Western University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. Duties include directorship of the Allegheny Observatory. His tenure at Allegheny will begin his work at the popularization of science through lectures and writing newspaper and journal articles.
1868
Stringfellow builds a model triplane.
1869
Langley proposes a system of standard time distribution via the telegraph to railroads and cities. The Pennsylvania Railroad signs on for the service.
Langley joins a U.S. Coast Survey expedition to Oakland, Kentucky, to observe the August 7th solar eclipse. He observes later eclipses in 1870, 1878, and 1900.
1870
The Allegheny Observatory begins twice-daily time signals to the Pennsylvania Railroad's offices. Other railroads, businesses, and government offices later subscribe to the service. The income from the system aids the operation of the Allegheny Observatory and Langley's research work.
Langley travels to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, to observe a solar eclipse.
1870
Alphonse Pénaud designs his rubber-powered "Hélicoptère".
August 18, 1871
Pénaud demonstrates his "Planophore", a rubber-powered model, at the Tuileries, Paris. It flies 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) in 11 seconds.
1871
Francis Wenham designs the first wind tunnel; it is built by John Browning.
1873
Langley makes a detailed drawing of a sun spot. Famous for its accuracy of detail, the drawing is widely reproduced for many years.
1876
Pénaud and Paul Gauchot patent a design for an inherently stable steam-powered full-sized airplane.
1878
Bishop Milton Wright presents a toy based on the Pénaud "Hélicoptère" to two of his sons – eleven year old Wilbur and seven year old Orville.
1879-1880
Langley designs and builds his bolometer for the measurement of the energy of incident electromagnetic radiation.
1879
Victor Tatin designs and flies a compressed air-powered seven foot long model.
1881
Langley organizes an expedition to Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada Range for solar observations and other scientific studies.
1883
Alexandre Goupil builds a bird-shaped unpowered airplane that briefly lifts off in a tethered test while carrying two men.
1884
The U.S. Signal Service publishes Langley's report on the Mount Whitney expedition.
1886
Langley's interest in aeronautics is kindled by a paper on bird flight by a Mr. Lancaster at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Buffalo, New York. Lancaster also describes making small flying models which he describes as "floating planes" and "effigies".
1887
Langley designs and builds his large whirling table at the Allegheny Observatory for the study of aerodynamics; begins aeronautical experimental work. He coins the term Aerodromics for the art of building flying machines from the Greek aerodromoi.
January 12, 1887
Langley is appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
April 1887
Langley begins to build small Pénaud type rubber-powered flying models.
November 18, 1887
Langley is named Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on the death of Secretary Spencer F. Baird. He retains the directorship of the Allegheny Observatory, dividing his time between Washington and Allegheny until 1891 when James E. Keeler becomes director of the observatory.
1887
Hiram Maxim, an American living in Great Britain and inventor of the Maxim machine gun, begins work on a large powered biplane test rig.
1888
Langley publishes The New Astronomy.
1889
The National Zoological Park is founded, due to Langley's support. A site in Washington's Rock Creek Park is selected by Langley and Frederick Law Olmstead. The Zoo becomes part of the Smithsonian in 1890, and is opened in 1891.
1890
Langley founds the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; its first home is in a wooden building behind the Smithsonian Castle. In 1955, SAO moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1890
Clément Ader completes his "Éole', a full-sized airplane. It has a fifty foot wing span, and is equipped with a lightweight 20-horsepower steam engine of Ader's design and a four-bladed propeller. At Armainvilliers on October 9, the Éole lifts off the ground to an altitude of approximately one foot and skims the ground for about 50 meters (165 feet). Ader later claims a second flight of 100 meters in September, 1891; there is no evidence for the second flight.
March 28, 1891
First successful flight of one of Langley's rubber-powered models.
1891
Work begins on Langley's "Aerodrome No. 0", powered by two small steam engines. Construction is halted before the aircraft is completed.
1891
Otto Lilienthal, a German mechanical engineer, begins a program of flight research using piloted hang gliders of his own design. He and his brother Gustav will go on to design and build 18 gliders over the next five years, making approximately 2,000 flights.
Langley's Experiments in Aerodynamics is published by the Smithsonian.
1892
Langley's "Aerodrome No. 1" designed and built. Not flown.
1892-1893
"Aerodrome No. 2" and "Aerodrome No. 3" are designed and built. "No. 3" is powered by compressed air. Neither is flown.
1893
A 38 foot scow is converted into a houseboat with a workshop and launch platform for Aerodrome testing. In May, it is towed down the Potomac to a point near Quantico, Virginia, off Chopawamsic Island. In November, "Aerodrome No. 4" is taken to the houseboat for testing.
November 20, 1893
Test flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" - it falls in the water.
December 7, 1893
Second flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" – it falls in the water.
July 31, 1894
Maxim's large test rig rises briefly from its support rails during a test run.
August 1-4, 1894
Octave Chanute and Albert Zahm sponsor the Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, bringing together an international assembly of aeronautical researchers.
October 1894
Test flight of modified "Aerodrome No. 4", using improved catapult. Aircraft falls in the water. "Aerodrome No. 5", with a one horsepower gasoline burning steam engine, is also tested. It flies 35 feet for three seconds before stalling and falling into the river.
November 12, 1894
Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian researcher, links together four of his box kites, adds a simple seat, and flies to an altitude of 16 feet in the device.
1894
Chanute publishes his book Progress in Flying Machines.
1895
James Means publishes the first of his three >Aeronautical Annuals.
May 6, 1896
"Aerodrome No. 6" is launched from the houseboat's catapult; the left wing collapses and the aircraft lands in the water. Aerodrome No. 5 is launched at 3:05 PM and flies about half a mile in a minute and a half at an altitude reaching 100 feet – the first sustained flight of a heavier than air apparatus. In a second flight at 5:10, Aerodrome No. 5 makes three circles, climbs to about 60 feet, and is airborne for one minute and thirty-one seconds. The flight is witnessed and photographed by Alexander Graham Bell (box 45, folder 9).
June 1896
Chanute and Augustus Herring establish a camp at the Lake Michigan dunes near Miller, Indiana to conduct flight tests on a number of gliders – several of Chanute's designs, including his multiwing "Katydid", Herring's copy of a Lilienthal design, and a Chanute-Herring triplane collaboration.
August 9, 1896
Lilienthal's glider stalls and crashes from an altitude of about 50 feet. Lilienthal dies of his injuries the next morning. His last words are "Opfer müssen gebracht warden" - "Sacrifices must be made".
November 28, 1896
"Aerodrome No. 6" is flown from the houseboat – it flies 4800 feet in one minute and forty-five seconds.
July 1897
Ader completes his "Avion III", also known as the "Aquilon". It features two 20-horsepower steam engines and twin tractor propellers, and a wingspan of nearly 56 feet. The aircraft weighs approximately 880 pounds. Ader attempts a flight on October 14; "Avion III" is unable to rise off the ground.
March 25, 1898
Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt suggests the military use of the Langley "Aerodrome" to Navy Secretary John D. Long (box 40, folder 10).
April 6, 1898
Langley proposes a scaled-up version of the "Aerodrome" for military use to a joint Army-Navy board meeting at the Smithsonian. He requests $50,000 to build a large, piloted version of his earlier designs. The proposed aircraft is called the "Great Aerodrome", or "Aerodrome A".
June 1898
Charles M. Manly, a Cornell University engineering student, is hired as Langley's "assistant in charge of experiments".
October 1898
Major work begins on the "Great Aerodrome", also known as "Aerodrome A".
December 12, 1898
A contract is signed between Langley and Stephen M. Balzer of New York. Balzer is to design and build a 12 horsepower motor to power the "Aerodrome". On the same date, Langley writes to the U.S. Army Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, agreeing to design and build a flying machine. He estimates a cost of $50,000 to build his machine.
May 1899
A new, larger houseboat equipped with a turntable and catapult is delivered in Washington.
May 30, 1899
Wilbur Wright sends a letter to Langley at the Smithsonian, requesting material pertaining to aeronautical research. He says in his letter that he wishes "… to begin a systematic study of the subject in preparation for practical work." Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Richard Rathbun directs his staff to assemble a package of papers, including Langley's Story of Experiments in Mechanical Flight and Experiments in Aerodynamics. The Wright brothers receive the package three weeks later. They later credit the material they received from the Smithsonian with giving them a "good understanding of the nature of the problem of flying."
June 7 - August 3, 1899
Additional flights of "Aerodrome No. 5" and "No. 6" are made from the houseboat at Chopawamsic Island.
July 1899
Langley visits Ader's workshop in Paris.
July 1899
The Wright Brothers build a five foot biplane kite.
October 2, 1899
Percy Pilcher dies of his injury after his Lilienthal-type glider breaks up in flight.
May 1900
Langley and the staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory observe the May 28 solar eclipse in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
August 1900
The Wrights begin to build their first glider, a biplane design with a 17 foot wingspan.
September 1900
The Wrights arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to test their glider on the dunes. They begin test flights in early October.
July 1901
The Wrights return to Kitty Hawk with a new biplane glider.
August 1901
Langley creates the Children's Room, with exhibits designed to inspire interest in science, technology and natural history, in the Smithsonian Castle.
Autumn 1901
The Wright brothers return to Dayton and begin a program to develop their own fundamental aeronautical data, building a wind tunnel and a test rig mounted on a bicycle.
September 19, 1902
The Wrights complete assembly of their new glider and begin flights the same afternoon. They continue the flights through the autumn. After an early crash, continual modifications improve the design. Wilbur writes to his father, "We now believe the flying problem is really nearing its solution." On their return to Dayton, the brothers file a patent on their design.
July 14, 1903
The houseboat is towed down the Potomac to a spot opposite Widewater, Virginia, about 40 miles from Washington.
August 8, 1903
Langley's "Quarter-Size Aerodrome" makes a successful flight from the houseboat.
September 3, 1903
Work is begun on erecting the "Great Aerodrome" on the houseboat catapult.
October 7, 1903
The "Great Aerodrome", piloted by Manly, is launched by the houseboat catapult at 12:20 PM. The aircraft is snagged by the catapult launch car, and drops into the river. Langley was in Washington, and does not witness the attempt. The wreckage of the "Aerodrome" is salvaged.
December 8, 1903
The refurbished "Great Aerodrome" is readied for flight on the houseboat, now moored below Washington at Arsenal Point at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. At 4:45 PM, the aircraft, with Manly at the controls, is launched. The tail assembly drags along the launch track, and the "Aerodrome's" tail begins to collapse. The "Aerodrome" drops into the river. Manly is briefly trapped by the wreckage, but cuts himself free and is rescued. In the aftermath of the crash, Langley is ridiculed in the press. Though the Army withdraws its support, Langley receives offers of financial support from businessmen to continue his aeronautical work. He politely refuses these offers and ends his aeronautical activities.
December 17, 1903
The Wright brothers make four flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first flight covered a distance of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds; in the fourth flight, the "Flyer" traveled 852 feet in 59 seconds.
June 1905
The Smithsonian's accountant, W. W. Karr, is accused of embezzling Institutional funds. He is later convicted and imprisoned. Langley holds himself responsible for the loss, and thereafter refuses to accept his salary.
November 1905
Langley suffers a stroke.
February 1906
Langley moves to Aiken, South Carolina to convalesce.
February 27, 1906
After suffering another stroke, Langley dies.
March 3, 1906
Samuel Pierpont Langley is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Boston.
May-October 1914
The "Great Aerodrome" is refurbished and is tested on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York; the tests are conducted by Glenn Curtiss. Using the Manly-Balzer motor and mounted on pontoons instead of using a catapult launch, the "Aerodrome" makes several short flights, the longest lasting about five seconds. Later a Curtiss 80-hp engine is substituted for the Manly-Balzer motor and a flight of about 3,000 feet is made on September 17. The Smithsonian Institution later displays the "Aerodrome" with an exhibit label that reads "The first man-carrying aeroplane in the history of the world capable of sustained free flight." This claim causes a rift between the Institution and Orville Wright (Wilber Wright had died in 1912) that is not fully mended until 1942. The Wright 1903 "Flyer" is presented to the Smithsonian Institution on December 17, 1948. Today, the "Flyer" is on exhibit in the Milestones of Flight Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum's Mall Building; Samuel Langley's "Great Aerodrome" is displayed at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged and described by Allan Janus, 2008, 2011. Encoded by Tyler Love, 2014. Encoded by Allan Janus, 2019.
Author
Allan Janus
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Smithsonian generated, transfer, unknown.

The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff
The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff
Langley's staff engaged in his aeronautical work as listed in waste books, drawings and correspondence:
    The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff
    F. C. Bache
    Laborer with the U.S. Fish Commission, then located at the Smithsonian.
    Carl Barus
    Formerly of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Weather Bureau. Hired in 1893 as a physicist; acted as the liaison between Langley and the Aerodrome project staff. Part of the crew on the houseboat.
    Louville Eugene Emerson
    Laborer.
    George L. Fowler
    An engineer, Fowler was hired by Langley to help design an engine for the Aerodromes.
    William Gaertner
    Instrument maker.
    Heed, Jr.
    Name found in a shorthand diary dated 1899 - presumably, a Smithsonian secretary or assistant.
    Augustus Moore Herring
    An independent aeronautical experimenter and skilled designer and pilot of gliders; hired by Octave Chanute in 1894 and by Langley as chief assistant in 1895. Herring resigned (or was dismissed) in November 1895 and resumed work with Chanute. In 1908, he competed with the Wrights for the Army Flyer contract, but did not complete a finished aircraft.
    Edward Chalmers Huffaker
    An engineer and aeronautical experimenter; built gliders based on the observation of bird flight; had delivered a paper at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, 1893. Recommended by Chanute, Huffaker was hired by Langley in December, 1894. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1898 and went to work for Chanute.
    L. C. Maltby
    Machinist, 1891-1899; assisted in motor design and oversaw the fabrications of the metalwork for the Aerodromes. Part of the crew on the houseboat.
    Charles Matthews Manly
    Graduate of Cornell University (1896). Hired by Langley and placed in charge of construction of the Great Aerodrome in 1898. Piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two launch attempts, 1903. Manly resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. He served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911.
    Charles B. Nichols
    Smithsonian cabinet maker (1890-1893), in charge of construction of the small rubber powered models.
    R. Luther Reed
    Smithsonian carpenter foreman (1880-1904). In charge of construction of Aerodromes No. 5 and 6 following between Herring's departure and Manly's arrival. Worked on design of the Great Aerodrome and the second houseboat. Part of the crew on the houseboat.
    B.L. Rhinehart
    Smithsonian mechanic. Built a small steam motor for Aerodrome No. 0 in 1891. Performed design work on an experimental gasoline motor, c.1896.
    William L. Speiden
    Draftsman or designer (1893-1899).
    John Elfrith Watkins
    Assistant engineer of construction with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joined the Smithsonian as an honorary curator in the Steam Transportation section in 1885. Named curator of Transportation in 1887. He rejoined the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1892, and later worked at the Field Columbian Museum as director of Industrial Arts. Watkins returned to the Smithsonian in 1895 as the National Museum's curator of Technological Collections. In 1898, he was named curator of the Division of Technology. Watkins also served the Smithsonian as Engineer of Property, 1888-1889, and Chief of Buildings and Superintendence, 1896-1903. Watkins carried on much of the Aerodrome project's correspondence, and was the project's expert in steam engine design.
    George B. Wells
    Smithsonian messenger (1894-1903). Most of the collection's shorthand notebooks (Series X) bear his name; possibly, he acted as Langley's stenographer.
    William Crawford Winlock
    Curator, Bureau of International Exchange (1889-1899).

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
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 Permission Requests.
Preferred Citation
Samuel P. Langley Collection, NASM.XXXX.0494, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Samuel Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003).
In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:
Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.
Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907
Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.
The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.
Langley Technical Files: The Archives Division's technical files are housed in the Archives-Library reading room of the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Material on Langley and his Aerodromes are housed in folders in the technical files Aircraft Series and in the Biographies Series. Because material from the Samuel P. Langley Collection is thought to have been transferred into the Technical Files, these file headings are included here. In the listings, "Images Available" refers to digital image files available through the Archives Division's image database; these images may be viewed in the Museum's reading rooms.
    Langley Technical Files: Aircraft Series Technical Files
    Langley (Samuel P.), General
    Photos, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198600-80
    Langley (Samuel P.), General, NASM
    Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198601-80, AL-198601-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A (Great Aerodrome, Man-Carrying Aerodrome)
    Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198603-01, AL-198603-80, AL-198603-85, AL-198603-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, Curtiss 1914 Rebuild
    Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198605-01, AL-198605-80, AL-198605-96, AL-198605-97, AL-198605-98, AL-198605-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, NASM
    Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198607-01, AL-198607-80, AL-198607-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodromes, Numbered, General
    Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198610-80, AL-198610-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 0 (1891)
    Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198612-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 1 (1891)
    Images Available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 2 (1892)
    Images Available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 3 (1892)
    Images Available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 4 (1895)
    Images Available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96)
    Documents, Photos, Transparencies, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198622-01, AL-198622-80, AL-198622-90, AL-198622-98, AL-198622-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 6 (1895-96)
    Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198624-01, AL-198624-80, AL-198624-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Clockwork Model
    Photos. Folder(s): AL-198628-80
    Langley (Samuel P.) Gliding Model Aerodromes (1895)
    Images Available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Ladder Kite (1896)
    Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198635-80, AL-198635-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodromes, General
    Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198640-01, AL-198640-80, AL-198640-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 4 (1895)
    Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198648-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 11
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 13
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 14
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 15
    Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198670-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 19
    Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198678-80
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 20
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 21
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 22
    Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198684-80
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 23
    Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198686-80
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 24
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 25
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 26
    Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198692-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 27
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 28
    Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198696-80
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 30
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 31
    Images available.
    Langley (Samuel P.) Proposed Man-Carrying Aerodrome (1898-99)
    Documents, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198710-01, AL-198710-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) "Quarter-Size" Aerodrome (1900-01
    Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198720-01, AL-198720-80, AL-198720-85, AL-198720-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) "Rubber-Pull" Model Aerodrome (1895-96)
    Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198730-80, AL-198730-99
    Langley (Samuel P.) Whirling Arm (1888-90)
    Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198740-80, AL-198740-99
    Langley Technical Files: Biographies Series Technical Files
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont, general
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-01
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-02
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-03
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-04
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-05
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-06
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Rocket)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-08
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/French)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-09
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-10
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-11
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-12
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-13
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-14
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Awards and Honors)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-15
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Wright Controversy)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-16
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Obituaries)
    Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-17
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont
    Photo Dupes. Folder(s): CL-094000-40
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont
    Photos. Folder(s): CL-094000-80
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont
    Negatives. Folder(s): CL-094000-85
    Langley, Samuel Pierpont
    Images available.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- pre-1903 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Records Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley Aerodrome Family Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Periodicals Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Herring, Augustus Moore, 1867-1926 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Huffaker, Edward C., 1856-1937 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903 Personal Name 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/