Collection Item Summary:
Matthew Bacon Sellers II (1869 - 1932) received a LL.B. from Harvard Law School and also studied chemistry, physics, and mechanical arts at Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School and Drexel Institute. From childhood, Sellers exhibited an interest in artificial flight, making kites, hot-air and hydrogen balloons, and various “mechanical birds.”
In 1903 Sellers began to direct his attention to aeronautical research and invention. From 1903 to 1925, Sellers was involved with building gliders, aircraft and wind tunnels to accurately measure lift and drag of various airfoil curves. Sellers made his first powered hop in 1908 and among the mechanical innovations that he received patents on was an undercarriage design featuring retractable wheels. He was considered a leading aerodynamics authority and was appointed to several boards, including the Aerodynamic Laboratory Commission, and the Naval Consulting Board as an expert on aviation and related matters. Sellers was also the technical editor of “Aeronautics” and authored 30 articles on aerodynamics.