|Scope and Content Note|
The Garland Fulton Collection consists of material gathered by Captain Garland Fulton, USN (1890-1975), naval officer and proponent of lighter than air (LTA) flight. The collection was originally donated by Fulton's estate to the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation of Washington D.C. in 1979, and was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum as a permanent deposit in 1982. The collection was formally donated to NASM in May of 2000. Comprising 16 cubic feet, the Fulton Papers includes correspondence and memoranda regarding the US Navy's LTA program from the 1920s to the beginnings of the expansion of the Navy's LTA program prior to World War II. There is also extensive material on Naval airship policy, and on defense policy between the world wars. As head of the Lighter-Than-Air Design Section of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Fulton was an insider in the art of defense procurement and spending -- his memoranda and letters provide an illuminating look into defense policy and congressional affairs between the World Wars. Of particular interest is Fulton's correspondence from his service as Inspector of Naval Aircraft during the construction of the USS Los Angeles in Friedrichshafen, Germany, 1922-1924. His correspondence with other leading figures in LTA and naval affairs -- William A. Moffett, Ernest J. King, Jerome Hunsaker, Karl Arnstein, Hugo Eckener, F.W. von Meister, and Charles E. Rosendahl are an invaluable resource of the heroic period of airship development.
The collection also includes technical data on airships, airship design, and naval architecture. There are many photographs, including photos documenting the construction of the Los Angeles.
The collection includes books on lighter-than-air history naval history, and engineering. A number of the books have been transferred to the NASM branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries; others were transferred with the permission of the Fulton family to other institutions. Several books with personal inscriptions were retained with the collection.
The collection also includes a series of photographs of airships, including many detailing the construction and first flight of the Los Angeles.
When the NASM Archives received the Garland Fulton Papers from the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation, it was found that a preliminary sort had been made on approximately 25% of the collection. Some of Fulton's correspondence had been filed together, and some subject categories, mainly dealing with LTA topics, had been established. NASM staff kept some of NHF's subject headings and developed other appropriate subjects and performed a thorough sort of the entirety of the collection.
The Garland Fulton Collection is arranged in the following series: