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Benjamin M. Anderson Aeronautical History collection

Identifier: MS 0069
Finding aid note: Boxes 1-23; 25-67; 70 stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586. Boxes 24; 68-69 stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Scope and Contents

The Anderson Aeronautical Historical collection consists of materials related to aeronautics acquired by Anderson in the course of his life. The collection contains printed materials, such as pilot manuals, mechanic notes, research reports, commercial brochures and other matter. In addition, the collection contains photos, postcards, scrapbooks, unassembled models, and two films.

The main focus of the collection is on European areonautics with British flight the main focus within that, although aeronautics within the United States is also well represented. Materials related to the two World Wars and passenger flight are also represented. The dates for the collection range from 1784 to 1988 with the bulk of the material covering the years 1900 to 1960. The collection consists of 67 boxes and one map drawer of oversize.

Significant or unusual items include a 1784 pronouncement by the Parisian police ballooning over Paris and the photographs and printed materials related to the early days of heavier-than-air flight prior to 1918.

The strengths of the collection include a focus on the early days of flight including lighter-than-aircraft and the advent of airplanes. There are numerous photos and printed materials prior to 1918. The focus of the collection is primarily on aeronautical developments in Great Britain, the United States, and to a lesser extent Europe in general. Developments in Africa, Asia, Australia and South America are not well documented.


  • Creation: 1784 - 1988


Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Boxes 1-23; 25-67; 70 stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586. Boxes 24; 68-69 stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Benjamin M. Anderson Aeronautical History collection, MS 69, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Biographical Note

Benjamin Monroe Anderson is a native of Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1939 with a B.A. degree in geology. His father is Frank E. Anderson who founded Anderson, Clayton and Company, along with his brother and brother-in-law in 1904 in Oklahoma City.

After graduating from college, Benjamin Monroe Anderson joined Marvin Greenwood and Lomis Slaughter, Jr., in founding Anderson, Greenwood and Company in 1940 to build light airplanes. However, World War II put an end to their plans. The three men moved to Seattle to work for Boeing Company. After the war, the men revived their company building light airplanes, doing aeronautical engineering and eventually building one of the 100 largest public companies in Houston.

Anderson became an avid collector of books, paintings, watercolors and memorabilia related to aviation. F. E. F. Prince, a Royal Air Force Pilot during World War II, helped Anderson to build the collection, much of which is British in origin.

The biographical note is based on the following article. Houghton, Dorothy Knox Howe. 1994. Mr. and Mrs. Ben Anderson to be honored at "flying for fondren" gala. The Flyleaf (Winter): 2-3.


23.5 Linear Feet (68 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Benjamin M. Anderson Aeronautical History collection consists of a wide assortment of materials related to the history of aeronautics, including photos, artistic renderings, postcards, schematics and diagrams, publications and papers from aircraft manufacturers, clippings, calendars, scrapbooks, and 8mm movies and audio recordings.

Acquisition Information

Benjamin M. Anderson donated this collection to Rice University.

Related Materials

The Benjamin Monroe Anderson Book collection on the History of Aeronautics, located in the Woodson Research Center in Fondren Library at Rice University, was donated by Benjamin Anderson and his wife Mary Anderson in 1986. It is the sister collection to MS 69. The collection contains books, periodicals and other printed matter documenting the history of aeronautics. The major emphasis of the collection is on aeronautics. The book collection includes pilot manuals, novels related to flight, aeronautical guides, and other types of reference materials. The early history of flight is well covered. Materials are in English, French, German, and other languages.

Guide to the Benjamin M. Anderson Aeronautical History collection, 1784-1988
Philip L. Montgomery
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA