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All American Engineering Company photographs

1943-1961
 Collection
Identifier: 1968-006

Abstract

All American Engineering Company was an aeronautical engineering and research firm which was incorporated on October 31, 1952. The company was originally a division of All American Aviation, Inc. This small collection of photographs depicts air pick-up testing, airplanes, equipment, and personnel.

Dates

  • 1943-1961

Creator

Extent

58 item(s)

General Physical Description note

58 photographic prints: b&w silver gelatin ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller.

Historical Note

All American Engineering Company was an aeronautical engineering and research firm which was incorporated on October 31, 1952. The company was originally a division of All American Aviation, Inc.

All American Aviation was incorporated by Dr. Lytle S. Adams (1881-1970), who had been experimenting with aerial pick-up devices since the 1920s and was the sole owner of Tri-State Aviation Corporation of Morgantown, West Virginia. The company remained inactive until September 1938, when Richard C. du Pont (1911-1943) bought $85,000 in stock and became president. Adams became vice president and Charles W. Wendt (1904-1990), secretary-treasurer. The other directors were Arthur P. Davis (1895-1968) and A. Felix du Pont, Jr. (1905-1996).

All American Aviation began service with an experimental airmail pick-up contract in 1939. The service was made permanent in 1940, serving eighty-six cities on five routes, primarily in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The company developed an improved pick-up system that owed little to Adams, who withdrew from the firm after a bitter dispute.

The company thrived during World War II by developing military applications for its technology, particularly a "man harness" for snatching people aloft like airmail sacks. The system was tried for air rescue missions and for dropping and retrieving intelligence officers behind enemy lines. The company also became involved in the military glider program. Richard du Pont left to head the Army's glider program in 1943 and was killed in a glider accident a few months later.

Support for the airmail pick-up system declined after World War II, in the face of high costs, lower airmail volume and better rural delivery by road. However, the company continued to push its system by proposing to combine it with passenger service, something the CAB had consistently opposed.

In 1948 the All American Aviation was designated the principal feeder airline for the mid-Atlantic region. In response to its evolution into a conventional airline the company changed its name to All American Airways, Inc. on September 20, 1948.

In January 2, 1953, All American Airways split with its engineering and research units and became Allegheny Airlines, Inc. and All American Engineering Company. Allegheny Airlines, Inc. was renamed USAir, Inc., on October 28, 1979.

All American Engineering continued the refinement and manufacture of the automatic cargo and airmail pick-up equipment originally developed by its predecessor in the 1930s. It also developed gliders, ejection seat trainers, airborne winches, ski attachments and other landing gear. The firm was renamed All American Industries on June 11, 1970, and was merged into International Controls Corp. on May 7, 1982.

Scope and Content

This small collection of photographs depicts aerial pick-up equipment and airplanes, experimentaion, and exhibition (including human pick-up). There are images of towing equipment on C-47 airplanes; aerial recovery systems; "Wingtainer" project; Du Pont Airfield in Wilmington, Delaware; and planes owned by All American Aviation Company, including Douglas DC-3s and Lockheed Saturns, with unidentified employees and people. There is one portrait of Raymond B. Janney II that is undated.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Related Material

All American Engineering Company photograph collection (Accession 76.410), Pictorial Collections Dept., Hagley Museum and Library

All American Engineering Company records (Accession 1541), Manuscripts and Archives Dept., Hagley Museum and Library

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Material

All American Engineering Company scrapbooks and news releases (Accession 1074), Manuscripts and Archives Dept., Hagley Museum and Library

Publications transferred to the Imprints Department.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
All American Engineering Company photographs
Status:
Online
Author:
Laurie Rizzo
Date:
2013
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400