Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 3/4 in. long x 7/16 in. wide x 1/4 in. deep (1.91 x 1.11 x 0.64cm)
This Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity pin (numbered 6314 on the reverse) belonged to the American rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945). Goddard was initiated into this fraternity on January 31, 1908 while attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts. Later a professor of physics at Clark University, Goddard launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket on March 16, 1926 and made many advances in rocket technology thereafter. From 1942-1945, he undertook developmental work for the Navy in adapting the liquid fuel rocket as Jet Assited Take-Off units for aircraft. Goddard died on August 9,1945.
In the late 1950s, Mrs. Esther Goddard sent the pin, along with some other of Dr. Goddard's personal mementos, to the National Air Museum for an exhibit put together by Paul Garber. After the end of the exhibit, Garber kept the items for safekeeping. The National Air and Space Museum formally accessioned the objects, already in present in the collection, in 1975.
Gift of Mrs. Robert Goddard