Catalog cover and pages, Percy Pierce’s
Model Aeroplanes and Supplies, 1914/1915,
cover and p. 5-6. (Source: #0158 Michael
Fulmer Collection, National Model Aviation
Catalog for the McCutchen
Aero Company, 1912, cover.
(Source: #0241 Donald Woods
Collection, National Model
Catalog, Ideal Model Aeroplanes and
Supplies, 1916 (second edition), cover.
(Source: #0348 Douglas Hynoski Collection,
National Model Aviation Museum.)
Catalog, Megow’s, 1938, cover and back. (Source: #
0342 Dr. Dee B. (“Doc”) Mathews, D.D.S. Collection,
National Model Aviation Museum.)
Catalogs in the Museum Archives
Among the materials contained in the National Model
Aviation Museum archives, some of our most-researched paper
pieces are catalogs and similar items such as advertising flyers.
We estimate our holdings of these
types of papers in the archives to
be approximately 18 cubic feet
(approximately 18 banker boxes
worth), and we’re still missing
most catalogs produced during the
last century or so.
We have many catalogs for
companies such as Ace R/C,
Cleveland Model & Supply
Co., Comet Model Airplane
and Supply Co., and Sig
Manufacturing, but we still have
gaps even within these company
listings. Most of our catalogs are
fairly recent, but we have some
dating back as far as the 1910s,
’20s, and ’30s.
The oldest catalog in the
archives is the 1912 Catalogue ‘D’, Edition ‘B’ of Aeroplane
Motors and Supplies Models and Accessories from the
McCutchen Aero Company of Philadelphia. This company
offered various woods for models (spruce, basswood, rattan
reed, and bamboo), propellers, wire, wheels, rubber, fabric,
glue, and many other products for making aircraft. It also sold
a few completed models, some modeling “outfits” for home
assembly, and accessories for full-scale airplanes.
Another one of the oldest catalogs, also from Philadelphia, is
Pierce’s model airplane and supplies
business under his name. Percy
starting flying model airplanes in
1906 at the age of 12, and quickly
became a skilled designer and
builder of early models, which was
the reason for his quote on the cover
page of his catalog: “Recognized
This catalog lists many items for sale to help produce
a model at home, such as wood (spruce, white holly, and
bamboo) sold by the foot, oiled steel wire, propeller bearings
and blanks, as well as carved propellers (sold in pairs because
pusher airplanes were all the rage), rubber strands sold by the
foot, bamboo paper, Ambroid cement, and winders.
Leading Designer of Model Aeroplanes since 1906.” This
edition of the catalog was in circulation when Percy was the
ripe old age of 20.
Percy also listed the Pierce Arrowplane for sale in the
catalog. For $4, it was prebuilt for you and mailed in a box,
with a 5-to- 1
how to fly it. For
$1.50 or $2.25,
it would be sent
as a kit. The
on if the
were blanks or
to the Pierce
Other offerings included the Pierce Paper Glider, the Pierce
Sling-Shot Glider, and the Pierce Man-Carrying Glider. Prices
for the man-carrying glider were only available by request.
Do you have catalogs at home that you want to donate? If
so, please contact us at (800) 435-9262, ext. 508, with a list
of the companies represented and the years and/or volume
numbers of each catalog, and we will review them to see what
will fit in the collection.
Thank you in advance for checking with staff first
on collection needs before sending items for donation.
Unfortunately, we do not have the available staff or storage
room to distribute or house numerous duplicates.
We appreciate your help in making our collections as
complete as possible. If you would like to see our catalogs in
person, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us in
advance. We will be happy to set up an appointment.
—National Model Aviation Museum staff
15 Model Aviation MAY 2016