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© 2007 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
Location: Harvard Depository
Note: This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.
Call No.: MS Am 2547
Creator: Hanks, Stedman Shumway, 1889-1979.
Title: Stedman Shumway Hanks,
Date(s): circa 1889-1970.
Quantity: 12 linear feet (83 volumes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of Stedman Shumway Hanks, an American pioneer in civil and military aviation engineering.
Stedman Shumway Hanks (1889-1979) was an airport engineer, construction executive, banker, author, and United States Air Force Colonel. He was born on 1889 July 17 in Manchester, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Stedman Hanks (1856-1908) and Clarina Bartow Shumway (1857-1925). He attended the Groton School, and received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1912, and an A.M. from Columbia University in 1946. His first wife was Marjory Hancock Hanks (b. ca. 1890-; married on 1919 February 11) and his second wife was Helen Chappell, married in 1952. He had a son with his first wife, Roger Stedman Hanks (1921-1999).Hanks' military history follows: Commissioned First Lieutenant, Aviation Section, Signal Officer Reserve Corps, 1917; relieved from active duty, 1920; recalled to active duty, 1940. Career assignments include: Commanding Officer, 18th Aero Squadron, 1918; Liaison Officer, Office of Assistant Secretary of War, 1940; Staff Officer, HQ Ferrying Command, 1941-1943; various staff duties, HQ USAAF, 1943-1945. Retired August 1949.In 1936, Hanks patented a flight strip and helped gain government appropriation for its construction throughout the country. He was founder and president of American Airports Corporation, executive director of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, and president of Stedman Hanks & Co. He wrote many books and articles on aviation and foreign policy. His major books were: Airfields for Puerto Rico (1946), Aviation gets down to earth; the growing need for public landing fields (1940), The borzoi: the most noble greyhound (1960), Flight strips - bargain airports (1945), Flight strips for civilian use (1944), Frontiers are not borders; a brief account of a journey to meet and understand the peoples of the world (1955), International airports (1929), and others.Hank's father established Seacroft Kennels in 1890 and brought Russian Wolf-Hounds (later named Borzoi) to the United States. Stedman Hanks kept the kennels in existence and he was active in Borzoi fanciers' activities, but his involvement in the kennel was limited. Hanks died in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 89, on 1979 May 23.
The portion of the Hanks papers housed at the Houghton Library was arranged and bound by Stedman Shumway Hanks. The papers are organized into the following series:
- I. Stedman Hanks & Co. (green)
- II. Stedman Shumway Hanks (maroon)
- III. Masterscope (black)
- IV. Early Birds (light gray)
- V. Flight Strips Command (light and dark gray)
- VI. Hanks family (light and dark gray)
- VII. Indexes
Volumes are essentially scrapbooks with pasted, stapled, and bound-in correspondence and memorabilia, including: correspondence with Hanks, telegrams, certificates, photographs, daily travel diary, reports, compositions, financial records, pamphlets, leaflets, clippings, family papers, government documents, maps, menus, visiting cards, business cards, wine bottle labels, wills and other legal documents, diplomas, tickets, membership cards, pins, report cards, buttons, medals, badges, genealogical materials, notes, and much other ephemera. Materials are in the formats of: autograph manuscript, typescript, typescript carbon, photostat, realia, and printed material.Materials concern Hanks personal life, military career, Hanks' extended family, career as an aviation engineer (especially on the development of the flight strip), and all other aspects of his life.This guide is not a detailed listing of the items included, but only a list of the titles assigned to the volumes by Hanks.
In the preface to his 1959 master index to all volumes, Stedman Hanks details his master plan for his archive. He states that "I never kept a diary. Instead, I have put many records, letters and memoranda into bound volumes ..." He goes on to state that these volumes were divided into categories and distributed as follows [organized by color of binding]. The locations listed below (other than for Houghton) may no longer be accurate:
- Green: Other than personal: family members and business activities. 19 volumes. Location (all 19 volumes): Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- Maroon: Specific subject matters. Labeled: STEDMAN SHUMWAY HANKS. 40 volumes. Location (only 12 volumes): Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- Black: Development of "regional areas". Labeled: MASTERSCOPE. 24 volumes. Location (all 24 volumes): Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- Gray: Volumes 8-11, Early birds, correspondence A-Z. Location: Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- Gray: Volumes 1-4, Flight strips command; Volumes 5-12, Flight strips. Location: Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- Brown: Purely personal. Labeled: S. S. HANKS. 24 volumes. Location: New England Historic Genealogical Library, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Blue: Genealogy and the Hanks family in general. Labeled: SEACROFT. 12 volumes. Location: New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Red: Development of "Flight Strips." Labeled: FLIGHT STRIPS. 10 volumes. Location: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
- Seacroft Kennels. Location: New York Public Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, New York, New York.
- Buff: Labeled: MATINECOCK. 3 volumes. Location: Home.
- Blue-2: Labeled: WHITEHILL. 18 volumes. Location: ?The following repositories also have papers relating to Stedman Shumway Hanks and the Hanks family:
- Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
- New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Library, New York, New York.