National Air and Space Museum Archives

Louis Gathmann Collection

Collection ID:
Gathmann, Louis
Physical Description:
0.05 Cubic feet
1 folder
This collection consists of three patents issued to Louis Gathmann.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of three patents issued to Louis Gathmann in Great Britain. The first, number 5,150, was issued on April 13, 1886 for an invention for "improvements in grain driers." The second patent, issued for invention for "improvements in machines for bending or coiling metal bars" is numbered 14,128 and dated October 2, 1888. The third patent, dated March 6, 1904, is numbered 18,560 and was issued for the invention of "improvements in air propellers for flying machines." The collection also contains two 1907 memoranda on applying for patents in Great Britain as well as the top portion of a piece of Gathmann's personal stationery which includes his name and address along with an illustration of his home in Chicago.

Arranged at item level.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Louis Gathmann was an engineer and inventor who held numerous patents in many different fields. Initially, Gathmann created equipment for screening and sifting wheat and flour and held a number of patents for these devices. In the 1880s, Gathmann built three astronomical observatories in the Chicago area and was working on a new type of telescope lens. His Chicago home also included a domed observatory tower. Gathmann received a patent in the 1890s based on his research in weather modification. Gathmann later became interested in ordnance development and in 1901 invented the Gathmann Gunn, an 18 inch gun to be mounted on ships that was designed to send large charges of high explosives at water level. The gun was tested at the Government Proving Ground at Sandy Hook but was rejected by the U.S. military. In 1916, Gathmann invented a new type of battleship armor based on the use of air chambers and shock absorbers. Gathmann also had an interest in aviation and proposed an idea for a type of helicopter that he called an "Aero Locomotive" in the early 1900s. It is unclear if a patent was ever sought or issued for this invention. In 1904, Gathmann earned a patent in Great Britain for a propeller for flying machines. Gathmann died in June 1917.

Patti Williams
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Unknown - found in collection, unknown, unknown, NASM.XXXX.1095
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Patti Williams, 2018.

Digital Content

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 Permissions Requests.
Preferred Citation
Louis Gathmann Collection, NASM.XXXX.1095, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Propulsion systems Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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