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Photographs from the Papers of J. Hartley Bowen, Jr.


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

J. (Joseph) Hartley Bowen, Jr. was born in New Jersey in 1914 and graduated from Drexel University in 1938. Bowen served as the Supervisory Chemist at the Naval Air Material Center's Aeronautical Materials Laboratory.

The Aeronautical Materials Laboratory was one of several specialty laboratories established during World War II at the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF) adjacent to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The laboratory specialized in the research, development, and testing of various materials, including metals, plastics, paints, textiles, and rubber, to ensure compatibility with the specific needs of naval aircraft and their shipboard components. As naval aviation expanded in proportion and complexity, the Aeronautical Materials Laboratory was grouped with several other specialty laboratories to form the Naval Air Experimental Station (NAES); in turn, the NAES combined with the NAF and the Air Station at Mustin Field to form the Naval Air Material Center (NAMC) in 1943. Following World War II, research and production of naval aircraft and component parts at the NAMC continued and the facility was again rebranded as the Naval Air Engineering Center (NAEC) in 1962. The Air Station at Mustin Field subsequently closed in 1963 and some of the NAEC's research laboratories relocated to Johnsville, Pennsylvania throughout the 1960s. The remainder of the Naval Air Engineering Center ultimately relocated to Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1973.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in the library catalog:

This collection consists of print photographs, primarily in black and white, depicting the facilities, machinery, and operations of the Aeronautical Materials Laboratory, part of the Naval Air Material Center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The photographs document the production and testing of assorted plastics, rubbers, coatings, and primers used in the construction of naval aircraft, with an emphasis on machinery used to evaluate the effects of weathering and various environmental conditions. The majority of photographs are drawn from a 1949 Naval Air Experimental Station report on compounding rubber, though the entire collection spans 1949 to 1968. The photographs were collected by J. (Joseph) Hartley Bowen, Jr., who served as the Supervisory Chemist at the Aeronautical Materials Laboratory during this period.

Compiled by donor during his time as the Supervisory Chemist at the Aeronautical Materials Laboratory.

This entire collection has been digitized and is available in our online Digital Collections:

Separated from the Papers of J. Hartley Bowen, Jr., 1938-1981 (bulk 1945-1955); Gift of J. Hartley Bowen, Jr., 1991.

Processed by Robert Hull in 2003. Object identificaiton numbers were assigned to individual negatives and prints.

Science History Institute Archives
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Finding aid created by Hillary S. Kativa and encoded into EAD by Melanie Grear.
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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions

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