Ford A. Carpenter Papers

Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
Copyright 2005
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175

Descriptive Summary

Languages: English
Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Ford A. Carpenter Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0273
Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet (2 archives boxes, 1 shoebox, 4 oversize folders, 1 art bin item)
Date (inclusive): 1935-1944
Abstract: Papers created by Ford Ashman Carpenter, meteorologist, aeronaut, author and photographer. The papers contian photographs, including several aerial and panoramic photographs of the Los Angeles area and images of the Pacific Northwest and Panama Canal. Also included is an edited typescript of a lecture on General Billy Mitchell given by Carpenter in 1944; small books published by Carpenter, writings, and miscellaneous materials.

Acquisition Information

Acquired 1995, 2008.

Preferred Citation

Ford A. Carpenter Papers, MSS 273. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.


Ford Ashman Carpenter was born on March 25, 1868, in Chicago, Illinois. His career as a meteorologist and aeronaut included employment with the U. S. Weather Service (1888-1919), a lectureship at The War College in the War Department (1915-1943) and an appointment as a meteorological observer of aerial bombing of ex-German battleships (1921). Carpenter authored numerous monographs, pamphlets and articles of meteorology and employed photography in his research and documentation of weather events.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The first accession contains four photograph albums and a typescript lecture created by Carpenter in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The materials are arranged in two series: 1) MANUSCRIPTS and 2) PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS.
The MANUSCRIPTS series contains a single typescript of a biographical lecture given by Carpenter before the University Club of Los Angeles on April 19, 1943 entitled "General Billy Mitchell as I knew him." In it, Carpenter recounted the development of the aerial bombing of ships after World War I, his experiences serving under General Mitchell as air meteorologist for air bombing tests at the Virginia Capes between 1921 and 1923, and provided anecdotal sketches of General Mitchell.
The PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS series comprises four black and white albums and a folder of loose prints created by Carpenter during the 1930s and 1940s. The albums are arranged alphabetically by title.
The first album entitled "Four Voyages to New York from Los Angeles via Panama" documents passage through the Panama Canal from shipboard and aerial perspectives, landscape scenes and places along the canal, people, and cloudscapes. Included is a laid in photograph of Carpenter in flight gear next to an army biplane.
The second album entitled "Flying Vancouver's Route of Discovery" contains a mixture of aerial and on-the-ground photographs taken on Carpenter's trip from Southern California to Queen Charlotte Sound in 1937. Of particular interest is Carpenter's opening aerial photograph of Burbank.
"A June Four O'Clock in the Gardens of the Los Angeles University Club, 1943" contains numerous environmental portraits of an unidentified woman seated in a garden. The last album, "Retreat on Huntley Hill," documents Carpenter's Los Angeles home and its environs on Huntley Drive. The album includes several panoramas of downtown Los Angeles in the early 1940s. Finally, the collection contains a folder of loose, unidentified photographs.
Accession processed in 2008
The SMALL BOOKS PUBLISHED BY CARPENTER series contains small publications by Carpenter, mainly ones he created, designed and gave away to others as gifts. Many of the publications contain photographs taken by Carpenter with his poems or text included.
The WRITINGS series includes manuscripts and reprints. It is arranged in two subseries: A) By Carpenter, and B) By Others.
A)The By Carpenter subseries is comprised of typed copies of Carpenter's writings, including those written during his tenure as Manager of the Department of Meteorology and Aeronautics, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, during the 1930s, and other typed drafts of stories.
B) The By Others subseries contains typed carbon copies of short story manuscripts given to Carpenter by family or friends.
The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains photographs of mainly Carpenter, but also includes photographs he took of locations.
The MISCELLANEOUS series includes news clippings and other miscellaneous manuscripts. It also includes a Melanesian lime spatula, which had been given as a gift to Carpenter.

Publication Rights

Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

Related Materials

The University of California, San Diego, Mandeville Special Collections Library also holds in its collection an additional album of photographs taken by Ford Carpenter. (Rare F866 .C37 1903) The album contains photographs, taken between August 3 and September 9, 1903, of the San Pedro Martir mountain range located in central Baja California.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Panama Canal (Panama) -- Pictorial works
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
Northwest, Pacific -- Pictorial works
Southwest, New -- Pictorial works
California, Southern -- Pictorial works
Carpenter, Ford A. (Ford Ashman), 1868-
Mitchell, William, 1879-1936



Box 1, Folder 1

General Billy Mitchell as I Knew Him - Typescript with laid in letters and ephemera 1944



Box 1, Folder 2

Four voyages to New York from Los Angeles via Panama 1935 - 1937

Box 1, Folder 3

Flying Vancouver's route of discovery August 3-17, 1937

Box 1, Folder 4

June Four O'Clock in the Gardens of the Los Angeles University Club 1943

Box 1, Folder 5

Retreat on Huntley Hill (Los Angeles) 1941

Box 1, Folder 6

Loose photographs - Includes probable images of Carpenter




Carpenter, Ford A

Box 2, Folder 1

"Dahlias" - Photo album of still flowers 1930

Box 2, Folder 2

"The Day Before Christmas: Nineteen Hundred and Thirty-six Years Ago" 1936

Box 2, Folder 3

"Intimate Glimpses" - Photos with text 1934 - 1935

Box 2, Folder 4

"One Drop of Honey" 1931

Box 2, Folder 5

"Opido: A True Story of the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California" - Uncorrected draft

Box 2, Folder 6

"Pennsylvania Spring" 1931

Box 2, Folder 7

"The Poet Visits the Scientist" - Memory book 1931

Box 2, Folder 8

Masefield, John, "Adventure On! Companion" 1936




By Carpenter

Box 2, Folder 9

"An American Aborigine's View of Wealth" - Reprint and original carbon copy 1930

Box 2, Folder 10

"The Barometer is Rising" - Reprint 1932


Written while Carpenter was Manager, Department of Meteorology and Aeronautics, Los Angeles Chamber.
Box 2, Folder 11

"Biographical Sketch for Malcolm Logan Project" 1931

Box 2, Folder 12

"The Call of the Gypsy Swimmer" - Carbon copy

Box 2, Folder 13

"Days of Murrietta" 1930

Box 2, Folder 14

"A Flying Excursion Among the Clouds: An Illustrated Address on Clouds and Weather" - Brochure for lecture

Box 2, Folder 15

"The Gold and Silver Lights: The Last Hours of Elizabeth Bonte Goodrich" - Carbon copy

Box 2, Folder 16

"Indianapolis, Indiana" - Carbon copy 1931

Box 2, Folder 17

"Los Angeles After the Olympics are Over" - Carbon copy 1933

General note

-Written as Manager - Department of Meteorology and Aeronautics Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
Box 2, Folder 18

"A Man's Study of the Material Instinct in Woman and its Effect on the Child" - Carbon copy 1933

Box 2, Folder 19

"Old Haunts Revisited" - Typed manuscript 1933

Box 2, Folder 20

"On Coming Home from Grandma's" - Carbon copy

Box 2, Folder 21

"Prejudices" - Reprint 1939

Box 2, Folder 22

"The Rib," "The Cabin-Boy and the Carpenter," "The Poodle Dog and the Meerschaum Pipe" - Carbon copy

Box 2, Folder 23

"She Wanted to Play the Harp" - Carbon copy

Box 2, Folder 24

"The Story of a Late Breakfast in Washington Territory, Autumn of 1884" - Carbon copies

Box 2, Folder 25

"The Sunset Club Meeting" - Carbon copy

Box 2, Folder 26

"Swinging Round the Circle with the Naval Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives" - Carbon copy 1930

Box 2, Folder 27

"Traditional Honesty as an Element of Efficiency" - Carbon copy 1933

General note

-Written as manager - Department of Meteorology and Aeronautics, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
Box 2, Folder 28

"What Flying Means to National Business and National Defense," presentation introduction of Ford Carpenter. Typescript carbon copy 1935


By Others

Box 2, Folder 29

Carpenter, Charlotte, "A Mother's Reminiscences of Her Children" 1893

Box 2, Folder 30

"PHOTGRAPHING RED SNOW IN NATURAL COLORS," gallery proof for printed section 1912

Box 2, Folder 31

Warnack, James W., typescripts of unpublished poems

Box 2, Folder 32

Miscellaneous stories - Carbon copies



Box 2, Folder 33

Carpenter's office and weather instruments

Box 2, Folder 34

Ford Ashman Carpenter - in uniform and at work

Box 2, Folder 35

Aerial views of Chicago and cloud formations

Box 2, Folder 36

Washington State and other miscellaneous locations

Box 2, Folder 37, Oversize FB48101

The Fairy Tree, framed

Box 2, Folder 38, Oversize FB48102

Carpenter in uniform, a top building, framed

Box 2, Folder 39, Oversize FB48103

Framed portrait in air officer uniform 1938

Box 2, Folder 40, Oversize FB48104

Carpenter at California Club, 1930; Home in Los Angeles; Portrait in uniform



Oversize AB-16-C01

Frederico Georgi painting of Ford Carpenter, [35" long, 27" wide] 1932

Box 2, Folder 42

Lecture tours - Brochures 1932 - 1936

Box 2, Folder 43

Miscellaneous correspondence

Box 2, Folder 44

Letter from Carpenter regarding spatula

Box 2, Folder 45

News clippings 1930 - 1947

Box 3, Folder 1

New Guinea lime spatula - Milne Bay, Trobriand Islands

General note

Carving on head of spatula