Collection Item Summary:
Thomas F. Hamilton became the general manager of the aircraft department of the Matthews Brothers Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1917. This maker of fine bar and dining room furniture, which constructed chairs for Chicago area houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was also a primary propeller contractor for the U.S. military aviation production program. Hamilton specialized in constructing propellers of this type for the U.S. Navy's Curtiss H-16 and F-5-L flying boats. After the war, he bought the propeller business from Matthews and formed the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Company in 1919.
The United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, formed by William E. Boeing and Frederick Rentschler of Pratt & Whitney, acquired this company, and merged it with its more successful competitor Standard Steel in November 1929, to form the Hamilton Standard Propeller Corporation, which became the world's number one propeller company with a virtual monopoly on high-performance propellers in the United States.