Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

McCormick, Harold F. Harold Fowler 1872-1941
Harold F. McCormick Collection of Aeronautica
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1780-1940 (mostly 1910-1920)
17 boxes and 13.1 linear feet
Storage Note:
ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-17


Consists of selected papers reflecting the many aeronautical activities and interests of industrial magnate Harold F. McCormick (Princeton Class of 1895) and papers which he collected concerning the history of aviation.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected papers reflecting the many aeronautical activities and interests of McCormick (Princeton Class of 1895) and papers which he collected concerning the history of aviation. Included are correspondence with George A. Spratt, Grover Sexton, Sydney V. James, A. C. Bosch, Glenn H. Curtiss, and others active in the early days of flying; a copy of his paper "From My Experiences Concerning Aviation" (1917) and related diagrams; material about the first International Aviation Meet held in Grant Park, Illinois, in 1911 which was organized, in part, by McCormick; autograph albums including letters of 18th-century balloonists Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier and Charles Bragdon, and a manuscript (1858) of "Des Aerostats et de Leur Direction" by Jules Latrige; correspondence regarding patents; and plans and designs for airplanes, including McCormick's "umbrella" plane.

Six volumes of photographs (1910-1913) include pictures of Wilbur Wright, Walter Brookings, Glenn H. Curtiss, Grover F. Sexton, Rene Simon, Thomas Sopwith, and other pioneer pilots with their various flying-machines, the first pictures taken from an airplane in America, scenes of Chicago and the International Aviation Meet, and McCormick's Curtiss-built hydroplane. Also present are several model airplanes, souvenirs, pamphlets, early aviation magazines, and prints.

Collection Creator Biography:

McCormick, Harold F. Harold Fowler 1872-1941

The youngest son of Cyrus McCormick, inventor and manufacturer of the harvest reaper, Harold F. McCormick graduated from Princeton in 1895. Later that year on November 26, he married Edith Rockefeller, daughter of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, in Chicago, Illinois. In 1935 he became chairman of the board of International Harvester Company. McCormick later divorced Edith and married opera star Ganna Walska, whose career he lavishly promoted. Over many years, McCormick donated a number of important and rare materials to the Princeton University Library.

Collection History


Gift of Alexander Stillman. 2 Letters are a gift of Fowler McCormick. A portion of the collection was given to McCormick by Grover F. Sexton.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

The contents list was compiled by Rafael Abrahams in July 2010.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Harold F. McCormick Collection of Aeronautica; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-17