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Finding Aid for the Paul B. MacCready Papers ca. 1930-2002
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Collection Overview
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Paul MacCready (1925-2007) came to Caltech as a graduate student, initially obtaining his Master's degree in physics in 1948 and then a PhD in aeronautical engineering in 1952. The collection documents most aspects of MacCready's personality and career as aeronautical engineer, entrepreneur and inventor through a diverse array of documents, media, objects, manuscripts and printed material spanning over seventy years (ca. 1930-2002). Especially prevalent within the collection are papers and ephemera from 1977 to 1985 during which time MacCready was working on his human-powered airplanes, the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross. The papers also document MacCready as a pioneer in alternative energy solutions.
Paul B. MacCready, Jr. was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 25, 1925. As a child he enthusiastically built model airplanes and gliders, and by the time he was a teenager he was setting flying records with his own design. Following graduation from prep school in 1943, MacCready enrolled at Yale and joined the U.S. Navy Aviation training program where he received formal flight instruction. Two years later he took his first flight in a glider and was instantly addicted. MacCready soon became a soaring pilot of some renown: he won the US National Soaring Championship in 1948, 1949 and 1953; and in 1956 he became the first American to win the World Champion Soaring Context. He earned a physics degree from Yale and in 1947 he entered the California Institute of Technology as a graduate student in physics. After he obtained his master's degree in 1948, he continued his studies at Caltech in meteorology and aeronautics, earning his doctorate in aeronautical engineering in 1952 with a thesis on atmospheric turbulence.
Approximately 57 linear feet (112 archival boxes, 2 three-dimensional oversized items)
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and, unless explicitly stated otherwise, is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.