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Guide to the Edward S. Forman papers
MS0042  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Edward S. Forman papers
    Dates: 1909-1972
    Collection number: MS0042
    Creator: Forman, Edward S.
    Collection Size: 2.5 linear feet (3 boxes + 5 films + 1 oversized drawer)
    Repository: Center for Sacramento History
    Sacramento, California 95811-0229
    Abstract: The collection is 2.5 linear feet in size and contains correspondence, publications, news clippings, black and white photographs, 16mm film, a scrapbook, and artifacts relating to the professional career of engineer Edward S. Forman. Divided into six series, the collection is organized chronologically within subject file folders. Forman worked at Cal Tech, Hughes Aircraft, and Lockheed. He was one of the founders of Aerojet Engineering Corporation.
    Physical location: 4G1, 28H11, 35H5, MC 11:13
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research use.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Edward S. Forman papers, MS0042, Center for Sacramento History.

    Acquisition Information

    Collection donated by Lynn Forman Maginnis, daughter of Edward S. Forman, to the Center for Sacramento History in August 2005 (Accession #2005/060).

    Processing Information

    Processed in September 2005 by Dylan J. McDonald. Finding aid prepared in October 2005 by Dylan J. McDonald.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Edward Seymour Forman was born in Gillespie, Illinois on December 3, 1912. His father was an electrical engineer and moved the family west during Forman’s adolescence. An avid science fiction reader, Forman dreamed of flying and space travel. At age 15, Forman began with a friend, John W. Parsons, to research rocketry and conduct experiments. In 1928 they began testing in an area behind Devils Gate Dam in Arroyo Seco, near Pasadena, California.
    After graduating from the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), Forman continued his rocket experiments with Parsons. Working on both solid and liquid rocket systems proved costly, prompting them to approach Cal Tech in 1934 for technical and financial support. Originally turned down, later they established a relationship with Frank J. Malina who assisted with the design and machining of parts at Cal Tech. They developed and fired their first liquid rocket in October 1936. Hoping to attract additional financial support, Forman and Parsons published newspaper and magazine accounts of their work. Eventually Forman was hired by Cal Tech to design and manage the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a 3 ½ acre off-campus testing facility. JPL received federal funds to test both liquid and solid rockets. Instrumental in the design and development of JATO (jet assisted take-off) rocket boosters for military planes, Forman and five others at JPL founded Aerojet Engineering Corporation in 1942. After three years as a vice president and production manager at Aerojet, Forman left the company and over the next few years worked various engineering positions. In 1949 he began at Hughes Aircraft, which eventually took him to Tucson, Arizona. Forman then transferred to Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in 1958, working for a time at the Santa Cruz Test Base.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection is 2.5 linear feet in size and contains correspondence, publications, news clippings, black and white photographs, 16mm film, a scrapbook, and artifacts relating to the professional career of engineer Edward S. Forman. Divided into six series, the collection is organized chronologically within subject file folders.
    Series 1 include biographical information about Forman’s early rocket experiments from newspaper and magazine articles, many found in a scrapbook. Of note are the photographs of early launch attempts with John Parsons, and their original rocket test stand motor.
    Series 2 contains documents and publications during Forman’s time with Cal Tech, the GLACIT Program, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory building JATOs. This series contains several films which show the test firing of various rockets and the take-offs of planes aided by JATOs (see Appendix A).
    Series 3 has numerous photographs and reports produced by Aerojet Engineering Corporation during their research and development of various rockets for the U.S. military. Of note is a piece of an airplane wing from a fatal JATO experiment. The wing is annotated by Forman, describing the incident (see Appendix B).
    Series 4 deals with an explosives company Forman helped found, Vulcan Powder Company.
    Series 5 and 6 include employee newsletters and photographs from Hughes Aircraft and Lockheed.

    Arrangement

    Series 1. Personal Series 2. Cal Tech – Jet Propulsion Laboratory Series 3. Aerojet Engineering Incorporated Series 4. Vulcan Powder Company Series 5. Hughes Aircraft Company Series 6. Lockheed Missiles and Space Company Series 7. Films

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Forman, Edward S.
    Aerojet-General Corporation
    Hughes Aircraft Company--History
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.)--History
    Lockheed Missiles and Space Company
    Vulcan Powder Company