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James M. Johnson papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Photographs, newspaper articles, pilot's log books

Photograph album

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James M. Johnson papers, 1905-1953 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Shauna Borger

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Collection Overview

Title: James M. Johnson papers, 1905-1953Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1905-1915

Primary Creator: Johnson, James Mussey (1885-1968)

Extent: 1.0 Cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection includes six folders of photographs, 1905-1915, one folder of newspaper clippings, 1918-1953, three pilot's log books, 1917-1932 and undated, and one photograph album, 1905-1915. The materials are arranged chronologically by type of material.

Subjects: Aeronautics, Airplanes--Piloting, Flight Archives at Purdue University, McCook Field (Ohio), Mechanical engineering, Purdue University--Alumni and alumnae, United States. Army. Signal Corps

Forms of Material: Articles, Photograph albums, Photographic prints

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The James M. Johnson papers, 1905-1953, document the career of pilot James Johnson (Jimmy Johnson) and his colleagues in early flight and aviation training. Most of the collection is made up of photographs. There are also newspaper clippings and three pilot's log books. The photographs show Johnson individually, Johnson standing with colleagues, Johnson in or near airplanes, and airplanes individually. Many of the photographs were taken at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio.

Biographical Note

James M. Johnson was born July 19, 1885 in Helena, Ark. He married Gertrude Wilson. They had three children: Gertrude W. Wilson, James M. Jr., and Robert W. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1907. During his time at Purdue he was a member of the Mechanical Engineering Society, the Athletic Association, and the Ohio Club. His thesis was titled “An Efficient Test of an Allis-Chalmers Corliss Engine." In the 1907 Debris Yearbook, the caption under his name reads, “Jimmie came to us on a slow train from Arkansas. He is a good fellow, gentle disposition, seldom flustered, well bred, very neat and really a gentleman. The successor for the position he has held in a Purdue cozy corner for four years has already appeared.”

He learned to fly at the Curtiss School in 1914 and 1915. He was an instructor at the Curtiss School, Newport News, Virginia from 1915 to 1917. In 1917 he was a government test pilot at Langley Field and became chief civil test pilot at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio from 1917 to 1920. He was president of the Johnson Flying Service and vice-president of the Johnson Airplane & Supply Co., 1922 to 1925. From 1927 to 1928 he was an inspector for the Department of Commerce. After that he was chief test pilot and sales manager for Buhl Aircraft Company in Detroit, Michigan until 1932. In his retirement, Johnson lived at Weslaco, Texas. He passed away on August 21, 1968.

Subject/Index Terms

Flight Archives at Purdue University
McCook Field (Ohio)
Mechanical engineering
Purdue University--Alumni and alumnae
United States. Army. Signal Corps

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Alternate Extent Statement: 10 mss. boxes, 1cubic foot box, 3 large flat artifact boxes

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Related Materials:

Wilmer Stultz papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

MSP 23, Emilio Salazar papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

Preferred Citation: MSA 13, James M. Johnson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

Processing Information: Materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes. All newsprint has been photocopied. A photograph album has been housed in a separate acid-free box.

Finding Aid Revision History: Revised 12/15/2009 EMW

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Photographs, newspaper articles, pilot's log books, 1905-1953],
[Box 2: Photograph album, 1905-1915],