Almost all of the papers in this collection deal with Carl Weaver Mitman's role as chairman of the Smithsonian War Committee. Loyal B. Aldrich, William N. Fenton, Herbert Friedmann, and Webster P. True also served on the committee. Minutes of the committee's meetings, correspondence and notes document the committee's projects. In addition to the War Committee files, small groups of correspondence and miscellaneous materials on other projects that Mitman was involved in are included in Series 2. There is no material covering the many expositions that Mitman coordinated or his research and curatorial duties. There is only one newspaper clipping relating to the founding of the National Air Museum. Additional information on Mitman's career may be found in Record Units 84, 162, 239, 250 and 297 in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Carl Weaver Mitman (1889-1958) was born in Newberg, Pennsylvania. He joined the United States National Museum (USNM) in 1914 as an Aid in the Division of Mineral Technology. He was promoted to Curator in the Division of Mechanical Technology in 1919, and served as Curator of the Divisions of Mechanical Technology and Mineral Technology from 1921. He was made Head Curator of the Department of Arts and Industries in 1932. In addition to his responsibilities at the museum, Mitman organized Smithsonian exhibits at fairs and expositions in the United States and abroad. In 1942 he was appointed chairman of the Smithsonian War Committee, and served until 1944. On August 12, 1946, President Truman signed a bill creating the National Air Museum within the Smithsonian Institution. Mitman was relieved of his duties at USNM and was appointed Assistant to the Secretary for the Air Museum on March 7, 1948. He worked on planning the new museum until his retirement in 1952.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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