From: Gordon White <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 13:47:29 -0500
Subject: [ARC5] my history
To continue my story:
Actually I gave the bulk of my hardware collection to the Air & Space
Museum in 1983. They had shown no interest in it back in the mid 1970s,
but in '83 Bob Mikesh, a curator, wrote and asked me, essentially
"Gordon, you remember all that radio gear you offered us ten years ago?
Do you still have it? Still want to donate it?" I said yes, and
eventually we packed more than 4,000 items of hardware into a couple of
Smithsonian vans and they took it away. The specialist at the time, Rick
Leyes (now a curator) spent months doing the accession paperwork, as I
later learned. I kept a few pieces, mostly duplicates. I have no model
that the Smithsonian does not have.
Anyway, it was a couple of years later that Cessna bought A.R.C. and
moved the production to Arizona, selling the plant in Boonton. As I
related earlier I persuaded the Air & Space Museum to go with me to
Boonton and collect some other interesting objects there. At that time
the Smithsonian was totally uninterested in the papers, so I took them,
some 70 cubic feet worth dating from the late 1920s to c. 1962.
After mining the papers for what interest there was I tried to place
them in a suitable repository. The Air Museum at Maxwell, Alabama, was
interested. Told me to take them over to Andrews AFB and put them on a
plane. Fortunately, I think, I never got around to that. In 1987 the Air
and Space librarian called and said, again. "Remember that stuff you
wanted to give us and that we didn't want?.........." So most of the
papers went to the Smithsonian, though I kept a few items, including
some boxes that were overlooked at that time and that did not surface
until after the kids went away to college and my wife died and we
cleaned out the big house.
When I got the A.R.C. papers I also got the 1927 antenna form and some
odds and ends of hardware that I still have. I am going to put them on
e-Bay one of these days. Not to make money out of them, but to find them
a good home. Actually I am amazed that now, 56 years after the end of WW
II, that there is substantial interest in this equipment, and that
things I wrote in the 1960s are apparently still in circulation.
- Gordon Eliot White
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