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Johns (Vernon E.) Family Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Contributing Institution: California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
    Title: Johns (Vernon E.) Family Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2015.006
    Physical Description: 15 boxes
    Physical Description: 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 audio reels.
    Language of Material: English .


    There are no access restrictions on this collection.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

    Acquisition Information

    Collection donated to CSUDH Archives by Members of the Vernon E. Johns family.

    Processing Information

    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 module.
    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:
    1. Series I: Charles H. Weiskopf Personal/Biographical; 1911-1940s; box 1
    2. Series II: Margaret Elizabeth Weiskopf; circa late 1920s-1940s; box 2-3, 12.
    3. Series III: Harold V. Johns circa 1920-1990s; box 3-12.

    Related Materials

    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)
    B-70 bomber
    Aerospace engineers
    Aerospace engineering
    Aerospace planes
    Technological innovations
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Hawthorne (Calif.)
    Weiskopf, Charles H.
    Weiskopf Johns, Margaret
    Johns, Harold V.
    Western Precipitation Corporation
    North American Aviation
    United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Skylab Program
    Apollo 12 (Spacecraft)
    Apollo Soyuz Test Project
    Ohio Mechanics' Institute
    Columbia (Spacecraft)