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Finding Aid

SAMUEL BLOOMFIELD PAPERS
MS 96-3

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NOTE: Collection is now held by the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita. Contact Lon Smith, Director, at 316-683-9242.

Size: 2.5 linear feet

Literary rights:
Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content note:
The Samuel Bloomfield Papers extend from 1926 to 1976, and include business documents, personal papers, university notebooks, engineering no design notebooks, blueprints, periodical clippings and photographs. The collection is typically associated with Bloomfield's tenure in the aviation industry. Additionally, a small amount of materials concerning W. E. B. Christopher, an aviation industrialist who was also associated with Swallow Airplane Company, is included in the Bloomfield papers.

The collection contains Swallow Airplane Company correspondence concerning the company's sales activities, design notes and information on various Swallow airplanes and sales brochures on the Swallow products. Also included are photos, a scrapbook and correspondence Bloomfield had during the period he was in retirement concerned with his interests in aviation history and disposition of various materials from the Swallow Company.

There is also a file of correspondence to and from Mr. E. B. Christopher. Christopher was in sales with the Curtiss-Wright Company prior to his affiliation with Swallow. Christopher bought controlling interest in the Swallow Company in 1933 and was in the process of revitalizing the firm when he died in an airplane crash in 1937. Bloomfield then took over management of the firm.

Also included in the collection are loose papers and ninety-five university notebooks from student studies of Bloomfield, including handwritten notes, brochures and other student related materials.

Primary utilization of these documents might be to research the Swallow Company's early business activities, Bloomfield's career and the early aviation industry in Wichita. Some of the technical work may be original design data for the various airplanes and may be of interest with respect to airplane restoration, the history of technology and the history of aerospace engineering.

All the materials are in English except as noted. Affiliated collections are holdings of many original Swallow engineering blueprints and drawings.

Biographical note:
Mr. Bloomfield was the president of the Swallow Airplane Company, the successor of the Laird Airplane Company of Wichita, Kansas. Laird was the founding company of the aviation/aerospace industry in Wichita and so the collection is relevant to aviation and industrial development in Wichita. Bloomfield was an engineer, educated in Germany, (the University of Frankenhausen), and Switzerland (University of Berne) in the 1920s, who then immigrated to the United States and established himself in Wichita in about 1933. Mr. Bloomfield was employed at Swallow until 1956. He was President of Swallow from 1937-1956, when the firm ceased business. In later life he left Wichita and responded to inquiries about the early years of the Swallow firm, and arranged for the Swallow blueprints to be copied for the Smithsonian. He seems to have maintained an interest in the historical legacy of his firm.

Acquistion: Presented to the City of Wichita by Rie Bloomfield, wife of Samuel Bloomfield

Processed by: KMS, 11-22-1995; JEF, 7-8-1998

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