Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Thomas Towle (1897- ) was a mechanical engineer and main designer of the Ford Tri-Motor. Following graduation from Yale University (1920) Towle worked as an engineer for a number of aircraft companies, including Dayton-Wright (1921-22), Martin (1922-23), Aeromarine (1923-24), and Stout Metal Airplane Co (1924-25) before joining Ford Motor Company's Airplane Division (1925-27). While at Ford, Towle designed a three-motored aircraft to replace the Stout 'Air Pullman:, the rights to which Ford purchased with Stout in 1925. Towle left Ford in 1927 to form his own company, Towle Marine Aircraft (1927) and Towle Aircraft Company (1928-32). In 1933 Towle joined Monocoupe and later moved to Lambert Aircraft (1933-35) before leaving the aircraft industry.

Identifier

NASM.XXXX.0102

Creator

Towle, Thomas, 1887-

Date

1921-1967

bulk 1925-1926

bulk 1953-1967

Provenance

Tom Towle, Gift, unknown, XXXX-0102, unknown

Extent

1.09 Cubic feet ((1 records center box))

Restrictions

No restrictions on access

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Blueprints

Reports

Drawings

Photographs

Pamphlets

Clippings

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of material gathered by Towle to support his claim as the designer of the Ford Tri-Motor. The material consists of the following: newspaper and magazine articles; pamphlets; photographs pertaining to the history of the aircraft and its role in early air transportation; drawings; early flight test reports; technical notes relating to early Tri-Motor models; a short autobiography and resumeof Towle; and assorted postcards, stamps, articles, and so forth relating to Island Airways, an airline still flying Ford Tri-Motors

Genre/Form

Blueprints

Reports

Drawings

Photographs

Pamphlets

Clippings

Rights

Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Names

Ford Motor Company. Airplane Division

Island Airways

Towle, Thomas, 1887-

Topics Ford Tri-Motor Family
Airlines
Aircraft industry -- United States
Aircraft industry
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States
Aeronautics, Commercial
Aeronautics

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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