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pterodactyl 06-06-2017 01:48 PM

National Model and Sport Rocketry Collection Blog
Hello Fellow Rocket Enthusiasts,

My name is Pat Fitzpatrick and I've been mostly a lurker on YORF for a number of years. As a volunteer at the Seattle Museum of Flight I have been involved with the "care and feeding" of the National Collection of Model and Sport Rocketry" since before its inception.

If you haven't seen the latest issue of NAR's Sport Rocketry magazine it contains an excellent article written by the MOF Adjunct Curator for Spaceflight Geoff Nunn (NAR #99220) about the collection. Geoff's article covers how the collection started, generally what it contains, and a few pictures of the "Inspiring Rockets" permanent exhibit at MOF.

MOF is like all museums in that it can only exhibit a small fraction of its collections. That is also true when it comes to the Stine portion of the National Collection which is undergoing a laborious process of cataloging and archival storage that will take years to complete.
YORF seems like an ideal place place to find an audience that care about artifacts from the dawn of model rocketry. I will attempt to answer any questions about the collection that might be floating around, and this thread might be a good place to start.
I do not profess to have all the answers; the level of knowledge of rocketry history on regular display here is quite astounding and I will frequently refer to you guys for help with my own questions. The community knowledge contained here can be of great benefit to further developing the world's best collection of model rocketry artifacts, images, and documentation.

Pat Fitzpatrick
NAR/MOF Special Committee
MOF Spaceflight Committee

Follow the National Model and Sport Rocketry Collection on Twitter: @Natl_ModRoc_Col

astronwolf 06-06-2017 02:58 PM

Thank-you Pat. I read the article in Sport Rocketry with great interest. I'm certain your presence here will be much appreciated.

Ltvscout 06-06-2017 04:50 PM

Thank you for offering to do this for the model rocketry community, Pat!

pterodactyl 06-07-2017 03:12 PM

Here's an image from an early edition of the Handbook of Model Rocketry:
Here's an image of the same half century old model during processing:
Typically models aren't repaired until right before exhibit, so the fin will be stored with the model for the time being.

Follow the National Model and Sport Rocketry Collection on Twitter: @Natl_ModRoc_Col

Woody's Workshop 06-07-2017 09:58 PM

Why is the museum located on the West Coast?
It seems it would serve better being located more centrally in the US.
I think Denver would have been a better choice.

BEC 06-07-2017 11:47 PM

Because the Museum of Flight worked with - first - Bill Stine - and later Vern and Gleda and then Lee and Betty to secure these artifacts.

What museum in Denver did you have in mind? And was anyone there even interested? There would have been some symmetry since MMI and Estes Industries both began in Denver, but no one there made any effort. Pat and Geoff and Dan Hagedorn and others at the Museum of Flight did with support from Trip and others in the NAR.

Faithwalker 06-08-2017 12:58 AM

Seattle Museum of Flight accessions
Hi Pat,

Thanks for your comments and introduction! We look forward to your updates!

Yesterday, I spoke with Lee Piester, former president of Centuri Engineering Company, and he informed me that the Seattle MOF is seeking to obtain all of the Smithsonian's NASM current model rocket collections, as well, in order to become "the" model rocketry repository. Do you have any additional news to report about the progress/prospects of negotiations with the Smithsonian and that coming true?

Lee Piester said that the Seattle MOF should be receiving shipments from him and from Vern Estes sometime this year. Lee said that the collections would include such things as model rocket engine production notes as well as one of each of Centuri's model rocket launch pads they produced. For us old time model rocketeers, it would be like being a kid in a candy store to have access to all these artifacts. Lee added that the Seattle MOF already has quite a bit of material in their basement below the museum's exhibition floor.

Any idea of how soon these items may be available for research/inspection?

Thanks again!

Kind regards,
Jeff Jenkins
aka: Faithwalker
NAR #46879 SR

pterodactyl 06-08-2017 08:25 AM

Thanks for your question. There are a lot of considerations when two organizations like the NAR and Museum of Flight enter into an agreement which encompasses not only collections, but also exhibits, and educational outreach. It's a lot like a marriage where there must be mutual goals and the will to work together to execute them.
Geography is a consideration, but it's well down the list when selecting a partner in any enterprise.

For the specific details on how the NAR and MOF partnership evolved Geoff Nunn's article in the latest Sport Rocketry has many of the details.

Follow the National Model and Sport Rocketry Collection on Twitter: @Natl_ModRoc_Col

pterodactyl 06-08-2017 08:38 AM

Hello Jeff,
Sounds like you had a good chat with Lee! It's fair to say that the NAR would like to consolidate the holdings of the National Collection under one roof which would necessarily include the entire collections of G. Harry Stine, Vern Estes, Lee Piester, and others. That effort is in its very early stages, but is moving forward.
The NAR was very happy to partner with MOF to create the world's first permanent exhibit of historic model rocketry artifacts at MOF in the "Inspiring Rockets" exhibit. There are some incredible artifacts in that exhibit.
Over time more and more of the collection will become accessible for researchers, enthusiasts, and the general public. The time scale of that processing effort could be significant and will be determined by the resources available to complete the task. It is a non trivial consideration which is under review by all concerned parties.

Follow the National Model and Sport Rocketry Collection on Twitter: @Natl_ModRoc_Col

Jerry Irvine 06-08-2017 10:24 AM

I would be extremely happy if there were far more enthusiasts and general rocketeers to enjoy it. We are currently highly crippled on new entrants to the hobby and that could use " fixin' "

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