Guide to the Papers of Arthur L. Klein, 1928-1974

Processed by The Archives staff; machine-readable finding aid created by James Ryan
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 793-8756
© 1998
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Papers of Arthur L. Klein, 1928-1974


California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

Contact Information:

  • Archives
  • California Institute of Technology
  • 1200 East California Blvd.
  • Mail Code 015A-74
  • Pasadena, CA 91125
  • Phone: (626) 395-2704
  • Fax: (626) 793-8756
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
The Archives staff
Date Completed:
Updated: November 1998
Encoded by:
James Ryan
© 1998 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Papers of Arthur L. Klein,
Date (inclusive): 1928-1974
Creator: Klein, Arthur L.
Extent: Linear feet: 1.5
Repository: California Institute of Technology. Archives.
Pasadena, California 91125
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives 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 reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item, Box and file number], Papers of Arthur L. Klein, Archives, California Institute of Technology.

Biographical Sketch

Arthur L. Klein (1898-1983) was born in Los Angeles and educated in local schools. In 1916 he entered Throop College, the predecessor of Caltech. There he acquired the nickname "Maj," from his tenure as a cadet major. After beginning his studies in mechanical engineering, he changed to physics to work under Robert A. Millikan and earned his bachelor's degree in 1921 and his PhD in 1925. Thereafter hired by Millikan as a research fellow in physics, Klein soon became involved in the activities of the new Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at Caltech, familiarly known as GALCIT. He became assistant professor of aeronautics at Caltech in 1929 and full professor in 1954.
The history of GALCIT and its relationship to the birth and development of the aerospace industry in Southern California are well documented. Theodore von Kármán, the brilliant Hungarian-born engineer and aerodynamicist, was appointed the lab's first director in 1930. Maj Klein became a member of the original GALCIT team, along with Clark B. Millikan, Arthur Raymond, the mathematician Harry Bateman, and a bit later, Ernest E. Sechler. Klein designed much of the lab's new wind tunnel, which went into operation in 1929, and was responsible for many aspects of the design and testing of important aircraft, including Douglas's revolutionary DC-3. In 1932 Klein began consulting for Douglas Aircraft and by 1937 he was spending half his time there and half at Caltech. He retired from Caltech in 1968.

Scope and Content

The Papers of Arthur L. Klein (1928-1974) represent a small collection divided between correspondence, teaching files, technical material relating to wind tunnels and airplane design, and personal data. Researchers should also consult the following related collections: the Papers of Theodore von Kármán; the oral histories of Arthur L. Klein and other participants in GALCIT; the Caltech Historical Files under Aeronautics and Arthur L. Klein; and the Archives' photo database, PhotoNet (available online at

Container List


General correspondence

Box 1, Folder 1.1


Folder 1.2


Folder 1.3


Folder 1.4

1967-1975, 1979

Folder 1.5

1970-1971, Karl Brauer


California Institute of Technology

Box 1, Folder 1.6

California Institute Research Foundation 1948-1950, 1961

Folder 1.7

AE 104 (Douglas Caltech Lecture Series)

Folder 1.8

AE 276 notes

Folder 1.9

Lecture notes, examinations, etc.

Folder 1.10

CIT printed matter


Wind tunnels

Box 1, Folder 1.11

List of wind tunnel reports, 1930-1937

Folder 1.12

Cooperative wind tunnel specifications, 1952

Folder 1.13

Wind tunnel misc. [including photos, drawings, blueprints]

Folder 1.14

General Motors wind tunnel program, 1966


Technical data, bulletins, reports

Box 1, Folder 1.15

Air Transport Association of America: aircraft service information bulletins, 1950-1951

Folder 1.16

Bound volume of blueprints: Fuselage Analysis. XNO-1. Douglas Company, 1928

Folder 1.17

D Airplane. Catapulting from Pontoon. Douglas Company, 1928

Box 2, Folder 2.1

Douglas Airliner Specification Model DC-2. Douglas Company, 1928 [bound volume of blueprints]

Folder 2.2

Development of the Douglas Transport. Douglas Aircraft Co., Engineering Dept., technical data SW-157A, n.d.

Folder 2.3

Manuscript on aircraft construction (author unknown), n.d.

Folder 2.4

Sounding ballon data, 1930

Folder 2.5

S. Kyropoulos, Fundamentals and Problems of Worm Gear Lubrication. VARD, Inc. [2 binders]

Folder 2.6

Miscellaneous reports, manuals, technical bulletins


Printed matter

Box 2, Folder 2.7

Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, Facility Building Cmte., misc. material re: the construction of a Los Angeles facility, 1945

Folder 2.8

International Aeronautical Federation, 1968- 1970

Folder 2.9

"Metalworking News," 20 March 1961 [newspaper]

Folder 2.10

A. L. Klein and Kenneth P. Gow, A Dial Reading Translator for Digital Machine Inputs, 1951

Folder 2.11

Reprints and preprints


Personal and biographical

Box 2, Folder 2.12




Box 2, Folder 2.13

NBC program outline, Aug. 1941; UCLA Extension course outline; exam notes [handwritten]; aircraft photos

Supplement received from the Aeronautics Library 11/21/91


General correspondence

Box 3, Folder 3.1

Prior to 1933

Folder 3.2


Folder 3.3