Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Pendray, G. Edward (George Edward), 1901-
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
G. Edward Pendray papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1829-1981 (mostly 1923-1971)
106 boxes and 2 items
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Boxes 1-17; 19-107


G. Edward Pendray was an early proponent of rocket power and space flight and co-founder Pendray and Company, a prominent public relations firm. The G. Edward Pendray Papers consist of correspondence, notes, memoranda, drafts, reports, photographs, and printed material related to Pendray's career in public relations and his life-long interest and involvement in aeronautics and astronautics.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The G. Edward Pendray Papers consist of correspondence, notes, memoranda, drafts, reports, photographs, and printed material related to Pendray's career in public relations. The papers also document his life-long interest and involvement in aeronautics and astronautics. Also included are correspondence and published writings related to Leatrice M. Pendray's career as a syndicated columnist.

Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.

Collection Creator Biography:

G. Edward Pendray was an early proponent of rocket power and space flight and co-founder of Pendray and Company, a prominent public relations firm. Born in Nebraska in 1901, Pendray grew up in Wyoming. He attended the University of Wyoming and graduated in 1924. He subsequently attended graduate school at Columbia University and received a Master's degree in 1925.

After completing his graduate work, Pendray joined the editorial staff of the New York Herald Tribune. He also served as the science editor of Literary Digest from 1932 through 1936. In 1936 he joined Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company as Assistant to the President. He was responsible for all external public relations, general and product advertising, educational relations, technical publications, and technical employment and training. While at Westinghouse, Pendray received national attention for the idea of preparing a time capsule for the New York World's Fair of 1939. The purpose was to preserve a cross section of contemporary life, literature, science, and philosophy by means of microfilm, sound motion pictures and actual articles of everyday use and interest. Pendray was responsible for its entire development, including coining the term "time capsule." Pendray left Westinghouse in 1945 to start his own public relations firm, Pendray and Company. The firm's clients included Westinghouse, the World Bank, the American Automobile Association, the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and many others. Pendray retired from the firm in 1971.

In addition to Pendray's primary employment in the field of public relations, he also maintained an interest in early rocket technology. Both he and his wife, Leatrice M. Pendray, were pioneer experimenters with liquid propulsion rockets. They helped found the American Rocket Society (ARS) in 1930. The ARS later merged with the Institute of the Aerospace Sciences to form the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in 1963. The AIAA annually awards the G. Edward Pendray Award in recognition of his achievements in astronautics.

Commissioned by The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation in 1948, Pendray helped develop the Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center at the California Institute of Technology, and the Guggenheim Laboratories at Princeton University. These were followed by the establishment of the Guggenheim Institute of Flight Structures at Columbia University. In 1958, he was a consultant to the Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration of the House of Representatives. Here he aided in the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

G. Edward Pendray married Leatrice M. Gregory in 1927. In addition to beginning involved with American Rocket Society activities and serving as a partner at Pendray and Company, Mrs. Pendray published a syndicated advice column on beauty under the name Jacqueline Hunt from 1929-1944. She died on October 7, 1971. G. Edward Pendray died on September 5, 1987.

Collection History


The G. Edward Pendray papers consist of four separate donations. The bulk of the papers, which arrived on May 29, 1967 , and some additional photographs, which arrived on April 21, 1970 , were gifts from G. Edward Pendray. G. Edward Pendray and Leatrice M. Pendray added another gift of manuscripts and personal writings on March 26, 1971 . The final gift of additional correspondence from Annice Pendray was received on September 28, 1983 .

Archival Appraisal Information:

Duplicates of Pendray's book Time Capsule were separated from the collection in 2008.


These papers were processed with an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Processing Information:

No information about the physical processing of this collection is available. A finding aid was created in 2008 by Casey Babcock.

Lantern slides found in former Box 18 were rehoused in Boxes 100-107 in February, 2020. There is now no Box 18 in the papers.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Access to the lantern slides in Boxes 100-107 is restricted due to their fragility. Though digitization may not be possible for every slide, researchers may make requests to digitize material according to Mudd Library's policy on digitization of photographs

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Special Requirements for Access:

33 1/3 rpm and 78 rpm 10" acetates of radio interviews are located in Box 67. Access to this material follows Mudd Manuscript Library policy for preservation and access to audiovisual materials. Analog formats need to be converted to a digital format at the patron's expense before a reproduction can be made.

Credit this material:

G. Edward Pendray papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
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