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Meyer (Henry Cord) LTA Collection
SDASM.SC.10194  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The bulk of the collection is research material relating to the development of lighter-than-air (LTA) craft in the post World War I period. The Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University holds a related collection, the Henry Cord Meyer Papers, 1915-1963.
Background
Henry Cord Meyer was born on February 12, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois, the only child of German immigrants. Meyer and his mother moved to Colorado after the death of his father in 1920. He earned a B.A. degree at the University of Colorado and a master's degree at the University of Iowa; he received his PhD from Yale University in 1941. Commissioned as an ensign in the Navy at the start of World War II, Meyer was among a group of historians who performed intelligence work for the Office of Strategic Services. After the war, Meyer began his academic career at Pomona College, specializing in Central European history. He received the American Historical Association’s George Louise Beer Prize for his 1955 book, Mitteleuropa in German Thought and Action, 1815-1945, and was a 1960 Guggenheim Fellow in German and East European History. In 1964, he became a founding member of the History Department at UC Irvine, serving until 1981; as emeritus faculty, he continued his research at UCI until 1999. In retirement, Meyer’s research interest gravitated to the history, politics, and commercial economics of rigid airships (in particular the Zeppelin). He became a leading expert in the political, economic, and strategic value of Zeppelins and the political implications of airship technology. A prolific scholar, he was the author of seven books, including Airshipmen, Businessmen, and Politics, 1890-1940 (1991), Count Zeppelin: A Psychological Portrait (1998), and Airships in International Affairs 1890-1940 (2001, with John Duggan). Professor Meyer died on September 30, 2001 in Claremont, California. The Henry Cord Meyer LTA Collection contains Professor Meyer’s research on the political, military, and commercial development of airships in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Studying social and economic issues in addition to the political and military implications of airships, he compared the operations of the Schütte-Lanz and Luftschiffbau Zeppelin (LBZ; Zeppelin Airship Construction Company) companies at Friedrichshafen, Germany, the British Air Ministry at Cardington, England, and the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation at Akron, Ohio. Among the airships researched are the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, LZ 129 Hindenburg, and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II; the British dirigibles R-100 and R-101; and the U.S. Navy's airships USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), USS Los Angeles (ZRS-3), USS Akron (ZRS-4), and USS Macon (ZRS-5).
Extent
12 Cubic Feet The collection contains material in English and German. The bulk of the collection is research material relating to the development of lighter-than-air (LTA) craft in the post World War I period. The Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University holds a related collection, the Henry Cord Meyer Papers, 1915-1963. The primary focus of the LTA collection is the international promotion of airships by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin (Zeppelin Airship Construction Company), with specific attention to its two major airships, LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 129 Hindenburg. Research interest obtains in the primary source material collected and the correspondence and many interviews Meyer conducted with businesspeople associated with Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, its American subsidiary, the Schütte-Lanz airship company, with U.S. Navy personnel involved in airship development, and with survivors of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. The collection has been rehoused in archival folders. Original order has been preserved, with the exception of one box of photographic material (originally Box 6, now Box 12) and one folder of photographic material (originally Box 4 Folder 22, now Box 12 Folder 42). Oversize material has been separated from their original boxes and housed in Box 13. The collection consists of 13 boxes, 12 measuring 12" x 10" x 15 and 1 measuring 3" x 13" x 18.
Availability
Collection is open to research by appointment. Some restrictions may apply.