In the Archives: The Good Old Hockey Game

Posted on Thu, October 8, 2015

This summer, I took myself out to the ball game, spending hours at Camden Yards and Nationals Park, with quick side trips to Fenway Park and U.S. Cellular Field (part of me will always believe the White Sox still play at Comiskey). Fall Sundays are devoted to football and memories of my team back in the days of John Riggins, Darrell Green, and Art Monk. I’ve been able to turn my sports fandom into quite a few AirSpace blog posts about baseball and football. But I spend many cold winter days at the hockey rink, cheering for my beloved Washington Capitals. I’ve driven to Montreal to see the Caps play in Canada. I’ve even bundled up to attend outdoor Winter Classic games in both Pittsburgh and DC. I have searched the corners and top shelf of the National Air and Space Museum Archives collections for hockey-related content and been shutout—until now!

Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation Hockey Team

<p>In their spare time Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation employees played hockey.</p>

The John E. Parker Collection contains four scrapbooks with beautiful wooden covers.  Inside one of those covers was my archives Stanley Cup—a photograph of the Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation’s hockey team! Assembling up to 15 wooden gliders a day in the St. Paul, Minnesota factory during World War II, a group of Northwestern employees played hockey in their spare time. According to company president Parker, the hockey team was quite good and, “led the league out there for a couple of years.” I tried to learn more about the team, but, unfortunately, we have very few issues of Tow Lines, the company newsletter. Those issues that we have are not from hockey season. I could tell you quite a bit about the bowling team! Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation employees also had a baseball team and an active community life, which included baby beauty contests for war bond drives. You may see a bit more from these scrapbooks in the upcoming months. But it’s October now! Hockey season has begun! Drop the puck! Let’s go Caps!  Blogs across the Smithsonian will give an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month-long blog-a-thon in celebration of October’s American Archives Month. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website.

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