RCA Missile and Surface Radar Division photographs1953-1981
The Missile and Surface Radar Division (MSRD) of the Radio Corporation of America operated as a primary government and military defense contractor from 1953 to 1986, developing and implementing advanced radar systems. The photographs in the collection depict instrumentation, radar equipment, control equipment, and research facilities at both the MSRD and the Navy AEGIS Combat System Engineering Deveopment Site in Moorestown, New Jersey.
0.75 Linear Feet
General Physical Description
195 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 100 contact sheets : color. 8 negatives : b&w. 8 photographic prints : color ; 8 x 10 in. 5 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 4 in. 4 photographic prints : color ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.
The Missile and Surface Radar Division (MSRD) of the Radio Corporation of America operated as a primary government and military defense contractor from 1953 to the 1986, developing and implementing advanced radar systems. In 1953, RCA opened a large facility dedicated to the development and manufacture of government apparatus outside of Moorestown, New Jersey. The facility was the primary location of the MSRD, which originally operated as part of the RCA Engineering Products Division and eventually became a division of RCA Government and Commercial Systems.
The MSRD focused on government contract and company-sponsored research and development projects, developing radar, sonar, military communications, and missile guidance and checkout equipment. In 1954, RCA received the Air Force contract for the Talos defense system project and received the contract for the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) in 1958. The development and implementation of precision C-band range instrumentation radars for the Armed Forces and NASA dominated MSRD research during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1969, RCA received the primary contract for the Navy’s new major defensive surface-to-air missile system, AEGIS. As such, RCA was responsible for management, systems engineering and integration, logistics support, and electronic scanning radar development for the project. The MSRD was acquired by General Electric in 1986, before being sold in 1992 to what became Lockheed Martin.
Photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Scope and Content
The photographs in the collection relate to contract work completed by the RCA Missile and Surface Radar Division (MSRD) in Moorestown, New Jersey from 1950 to 1980 and to work done by that department with the Navy on the AEGIS Combat System at the Combat System Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) in New Jersey from 1980 to 1981. The images depict instrumentation, radar equipment, control equipment, and research facilities.
The series, Division projects, includes black and white photographs predominantley related to the work of the RCA Missile and Surface Radar Division conducted in Moorestown, New Jersey from 1953 to circa 1975. Images primarily consist of instrumentation and equipment for missile defense and surface radar projects. Radar equipment includes antenna, control equipment, and other electronic devices. Other images depict research facilities and laboratories. Notable projects represented include the Army Air Defense System (AADS-70), Atlas D missile guidance, Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS), Downrange Anti-missile Measurement Program (DAMP), multiple instrumentation land-based radars, the ground-to-air Talos defense system, and various military missile range instrumentation ships.
The series, AEGIS Navy project, consists primarily of contact sheets of interior views of the CSEDS located outside of Moorestown, New Jersey from 1980 to 1981. The site was staffed by Navy and civilian personnel doing research and development work related to the AEGIS Combat System, which was initially developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA in the 1970s. The site was adjacent to the RCA MSRD facility at Moorsetown. The images in this series depict development, testing, and training related to AEGIS as well as equipment, production, and visits to the CSEDS by Navy personnel and corporate representatives.
The collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
In 2009, along with the rest of the archival collections of the David Sarnoff Library, the RCA Government Services photographs collection was donated to the Hagley Museum and Library.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- RCA Missile and Surface Radar Division photographs
- Angela Schad
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description:
- Language of description note:
- The collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant.