Robert H. Goddard Collection Stimson

Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945), rocket propulsion pioneer, graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1908 and received his doctorate while a professor of physics at Clark University. He served a research fellowship with Princeton University from 1912 to 1914 and there began to develop his theories of rocket action. Returning to Clark, he conducted experiments that culminated in a 1916 report to the Smithsonian Institution, published as A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. With the advent of World War I, Goddard began work at the Mount Wilson Observatory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, developing various innovations such as reloading mechanisms for artillery and a forerunner of the bazooka. By 1920, Goddard had turned his attention to liquid fueled rockets and by 1926 had accomplished the world's first flight of a liquid fuel rocket. In 1930, Goddard moved to Mescalero Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, continuing with his rocket experiments until 1932. After a return to Clark and laboratory testing, Goddard came back to Roswell and in 1936 published Liquid Propellant Rocket Development. In 1940 he was made Chief of Navy Research on jet-propelled planes.