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Louis Goodman (1905-1973) was an inventor and artist who was active in the American Interplanetary Society (later the American Rocket Society (ARS)) beginning in the early 1930s. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Russia, he emigrated to the United States in 1924. Although he received little formal education, he was mechanically gifted and became an active member of the Society's Experimental Committee. In 1938 he helped design, with H. Franklin Pierce and G. Edward Pendray, the ARS Rocket No. 1. He also assisted other members in the preparation of their rocket motors on the groups' static test stands, notably, the ARS Test Stand No. 2.




Goodman, Louis, 1905-1973


bulk 1930s-1940s


Annalisa P. Magnusson, Gift, 2015


0.3 Cubic feet ((1 box))

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of approximately 0.3 cubic feet of material relating to Louis Goodman's work with the American Rocket Society (ARS) including correspondence; original technical drawings by Goodman and others; news clippings; publications; and five 8 by 10 copy photographs of Goodman and one 11 by 17 inch copy photograph of the Luncheon for Inventors of America held in 1941. There is also a small section of autographs given to Goodman by Willy Ley and a 1936 contract between Goodman, Ley, and Hugh Franklin Pierce stipulating a division of rights and rewards if a rocket designed and constructed by them wins the REP-Hirsch Prize (Prix d'Astronautique). Besides the aforementioned persons, notable figures mentioned in the collection include George Edward Pendray; Nathan Carver; Peter Van Dresser; Hermann Julius Oberth; Robert Hutchings Goddard; Walter Hohmann; Guido von Pirquet; and Franz Oskar Leo Edler von Hoefft.


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Louis Goodman Papers, Accession 2015-0014, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.



Rockets (Aeronautics)


Collection descriptions

Archival materials



Technical drawings