Scope and Content
California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
Title: Johns (Vernon E.) Family Papers
Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2015.006
6 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1911-1981
Abstract: The Vernon E. Johns collection contains Weiskopf and Johns family archival materials in the fields of education, and both
civil and aerospace engineering. The archival collection concentrates on the professional and personal lives of Vernon's grandparents
the Weiskopf's and his parents the Johns. This includes Charles H. Weiskopf's engineering patents and 32 years of employment
documentation, and 20 years of both Margaret's High School and employment documents. The Vernon E. Johns collection primarily
focuses on Harold V. Johns' 38 year long career in aerospace engineering. Included in the collection are books and periodicals,
memory books, manuscripts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, administrative papers, photographs, film negatives, and film and
Language of Material:
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives
and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical
materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Collection donated to CSUDH Archives by Members of the Vernon E. Johns family.
Collection processed by Dante Frye in 2015/2016.
The Vernon E. Johns family papers collection relates to his grandparents, Charles and Amy Weiskopf, and his parents Harold
and Margaret Weiskopf Johns. Charles H. Weiskopf was born January 24, 1884 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Amy C. Weiskopf was born
October 18, 1886 in Pennsylvania. Charles H. Weiskopf moved to California in 1910 after his graduation from Ohio Mechanics
Institute. Charles H. Weiskopf applied for the patent on his, "Resilient Wheel," on June 26, 1911 and three years later his
patent was issued on June 16, 1914. The objective of his invention was to provide a cheap, strong, effective wheel that would
have a non-puncturable aspect, as well as a practical and resilient substitute for the present forms of pneumatic tires. Therefore,
drivers wouldn't be subject to injury by deflation of the inner pneumatic tube.
Charles H. and Amy C. Weiskopf were married in Los Angeles on May 14, 1914 and soon had three daughters June, Beatrice, and
Margaret. The family moved to the City of Hawthorne in 1921, where they remained deeply involved in the community until they
moved in 1941. Charles received his engineering certificate from the State of California Board of Registration for Civil Engineers
on May 20, 1930, making him the first to receive this certificate in California. Charles eventually retired in June of 1954
from Western Precipitation Corp. Vernon E. Johns' mother Margaret Weiskopf Johns grew up and attended school in the City of
Hawthorne. She graduated early from UCLA, receiving her degree on February 2, 1938. After being certified to teach she taught
at Little Lake School in Santa Fe Spring's. Her tenure as the school's first Kindergarten teacher began on July 6, 1939 and
lasted many years. Margaret taught in the demonstration school at UC Berkeley where she soon met and married Harold V. Johns.
They had two sons Gordon and Vernon E. Johns.
Harold V. Johns grew up in Berkeley, CA, and graduated from Berkeley High School in 1935. In 1940 he graduated from UC Berkeley
with a Bachelor's degree in Geology and a minor in Engineering. After graduation he interviewed with North American Aviation
using his drafting skills from college. He knew that NAA was looking for a college graduate qualified in drafting for the
WWII war effort. After interviewing with NAA he was directed to report to North American Aviation in Los Angeles to start
work towards the war effort. He started work for North American Aviation On December 11th, the same day as the attack on Pearl
Harbor in 1941.
Initially North American Aviation placed Harold in wind tunnel and model testing design where his focus was on various vehicles
and materials. Later he worked on jet fighter designs such as the XB 70 supersonic bomber, B 24, B 25, P 38 mustang, and the
F 100 fighter plane as one of the original drafters specializing in the plane's wing area. In the late 1950s his work at NAA
lead to experimental bomber work, which transitioned to his working on the Apollo moon mission as lead engineer on the command
The Apollo mission lead to his working on the Sky Lab project which was a part of the Apollo mission in its inception. In
addition, he began working on a NASA collaboration with the Soviet Union where he assisted in the construction of the International
Space Station. This was a significant event in the Gorbachev era because of the progress toward Détente. His involvement was
centered on creating the universal docking module to join the Russian Soyuz.
Following the Russian Soyuz, Harold began work on the Space Shuttle Columbia. His main focus on this project was the heat
shield tiles. His work on the foam tiles determined how various amounts of heat would be transmitted as well as the tiles
level of durability. Harold V. Johns retired while working on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Scope and Content
The Vernon E. Johns Family Collection consists of biographical material based on the history and life of the Weiskopf and
Johns' families of Hawthorne, California. The biographical material includes letters, correspondence, employment documents,
yearbooks, photos, magazines and scrap books related to both the Weiskopf and John's family.
The collection includes documentation of Charles H. Weiskopf's move to California in 1910 after his graduation from Ohio
Mechanics Institute. The patent on his, "Resilient Wheel," on June 26, 1911. Patent papers describe the "Resilient Wheel,"
as a cheap, strong, effective wheel that has a non-puncturable aspect, as well as being a practical and resilient substitute
for the present forms of pneumatic tires. Margaret Weiskopf Johns' collection material documents her schooling in the City
of Hawthorne with both yearbooks and memory books. Her degree received on February 2, 1938 from UCLA is also included in the
collection. In addition, the July 6, 1939 certificate to teach at the Little Lake School in Santa Fe Spring's as the school's
first Kindergarten teacher is in the collection.
The collection also contains materials related to Harold V. Johns' career in aerospace engineering, and his work on fighter
planes during the WWII war effort. The bulk of the material focuses on Harold Johns' work rather than his personal life. His
work with North American Aviation, the Apollo Mission, and NASA, includes letters, correspondence, Apollo Mission photos of
the Moon landing, heat shield tile, film footage of Apollo missions 12, 13, 14, 15, and 17, magazines, diagrams, and blueprints
of the F 100 fighter plane, and XB 70.
Arranged in three series:
- Series I: Charles H. Weiskopf Personal/Biographical; 1911-1940s; box 1
- Series II: Margaret Elizabeth Weiskopf; circa late 1920s-1940s; box 2-3, 12.
- Series III: Harold V. Johns circa 1920-1990s; box 3-12.
For material related to aviation please consult the Northrop Millar Collection, Aviation Magazine, Giacinta Bradley Koontz
Aviation Sheet Music Collection, 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection,
1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Digital Collection
and Mary Nolf Diaries and Correspondence for a diary entry regarding the 1910 airmeet.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Automobiles -- Tires
High schools -- Lawndale (Calif.) -- Leuzinger High School
University of California, Los Angeles -- Alumni and alumnae
University of California, Berkeley -- Alumni and alumnae
F-100 (Jet fighter plane)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Weiskopf, Charles H.
Weiskopf Johns, Margaret
Johns, Harold V.
Western Precipitation Corporation
North American Aviation
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Apollo 12 (Spacecraft)
Apollo Soyuz Test Project
Ohio Mechanics' Institute