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Lech (Andrew F.) Personal Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Title: Andrew F. Lech Personal Papers
    source: Lech, Andrew F.
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10088
    Physical Description: 0.36 Cubic Feet One Box
    Date (inclusive): 1905-1995
    Abstract: Andrew Lech was an aviation model maker. His highly detailed models have been displayed at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and the San Diego Air & Space Museum. His models date back to the 1920s.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item], [Filing Unit], [Series Title], [Subgroups], [Record Group Title and Number], [Repository “San Diego Air & Space Museum Library & Archives”]

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The materials in this Collection were donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

    Biographical / Historical

    Andrew Lech (1905 – 1991) was a postal worker in Chicago, Illinois. He lived in the suburb of Aurora. He retired from the post office in approximately 1940. He began making scale models on a part-time basis while in high school. He began work on the Spirit of St. Louis model in 1931. It was completed in 1933. It had a wingspan of 36 inches and featured working systems, including fully functioning control systems. In 1940 he was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution to provide structural and external view drawings of the Spirit of St. Louis. He also constructed fifty precise scale models of various 1900 to 1930s aircraft. In addition, he was commissioned by a patron in Orange County in 1967 to build scale models of experimental aircraft as well as models that were proposed, but never executed. This commission also included dioramas of WWI airdromes.
    In 1939 Mr. Lech began a correspondence with Paul Garber, Assistant Curator for aeronautics with the Smithsonian Institution. This culminated in the donation of the model to the Smithsonian in 1972.

    Scope and Contents

    1 box containing 13 folders of correspondence, photos, drawings, and various printed materials. The information regarding the commissioned models did not include the name of the patron.

    Related Materials

    Film: Lindbergh Flight F-0062. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=811vOeNYSLM
    F-0685 Ryan Aeronautical Video: From Lindbergh to the Moon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZA7PEA4NSU
    Video: Ryan Aircraft history VT 0027 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VZHu93WpNs&feature=c4-overview&playnext=1&list=TLQqdCtr_2Ua0
    Related Research Institutions: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Independence Ave at 6th St, SW, Washington, DC 20560 Archives: (703) 572-4045

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Model Aircraft
    Garber, Paul Edward
    Lech, Andrew F.
    Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus)
    Ryan Aeronautical Company
    Smithsonian Institution, National Space and Air Museum
    Spirit of St. Louis