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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Series I. Model Rocketry, 1957-2008

There are six subseries that make up the Model Rocketry Series: Subseries A. National Association of Rocketry, 1957-2007; Subseries B. International Model Rocketry, 1959-1981; Subseries C. Safety Codes and Regulations, 1958-1997; Subseries D. Corporations, 1957-2008; Subseries E. Designs, 1957-1989; Subseries F. Assorted Materials, 1957-1990.

This series represents the bulk of Stine’s professional work in model rocketry and the development of the hobby beginning with the foundation of the NAR and the corporations that contributed towards the designs and production of the model rockets. There are thousands of photographs in this series capturing the different meets (nationally and internationally), sections, demos and conventions, model rockets, and tests to aid in the development of safety standards for the hobby. Additional types of materials include negatives, forms, brochures, correspondence, newspaper clippings, press releases, newsletters, board minutes, case documents, depositions, committee reports, test reports, invoices, hand-written notes, press kits, programs, fact sheets, applications, lithographs, site maps, reports of official results, bylaws, safety codes, decals, memos, articles, member lists, guides, certificates, illustrations, memos, postcards, receipts, contest packets, and technical reports. Note that additional photographic and audiovisual documentation related to this series can be found in Series V., Visual and Audiovisual Materials.

Subseries A. The National Association of Rocketry was started in 1957 by Stine and he remained an active member and lead in the development of the organization throughout his life. Within the collection there are many examples of early founding documents, Board of Trustees meeting minutes, correspondence, and reports. In addition, there are the papers related to various subcommittees that made up the NAR and a record of the organization’s membership from 1965 to 1979. Stine contributed content and was editor for the Model Rocketeer , and his collection includes the photograph archive for the publication, as well as articles he wrote, newsletters, and correspondence. The collection also reflects other major publications that the NAR developed such as the Safety Code, Sporting Code, Technical Reports, and Plan Program Fact Sheets, which all illustrated various model rocket designs and their fabrication.

Another major component of the NAR subseries is the documentation of model rocketry meets and the various sections and groups affiliated with the organization that made up the competitions. In the collection’s holdings is the very first black and white photographs recording the Nation Association of Model Rocket Annual Meet in 1959. There is a record of sequential meets for each year until NARAM 15 (1973), then various years from 1977 to 1997, the final year that Stine attended the competition. There are other examples of documentation of the NAR meets, such as National Association of Rocketry Winter Meet (NARWIN) and Sunnyvale Rocketry Convention (SUNROC) that was part of the Pacific Region NAR Section. Most of the material in this subseries is in arranged in alphabetical order, except for the folders related to meets, competitions, demonstrations and conventions, which are arranged in chronological order.

The archivist made efforts to identify individuals photographed at the NAR meets. A sampling of photographs from this subseries were selected, digitized and exhibited on a Flickr website that was open to the public beginning in January 2019. NAR community members commented on the name of participants and rockets featured in the photograph. After soliciting identification of individuals, Museum staff cataloged the information in the metadata record for the digitized version and a printout of the Flickr page with comments was interfiled with the photographs to maintain provenance of the identifications. These printouts are not original to the collection.

Subseries B. consists of the documents related to Stine’s work as a committee member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and Space Model Subcommittee (CIAM) as the U.S. liaison to the group, and the assorted international model rocket meets that he attended beginning in 1964. The bulk of the material are black-and-white photographs taken at the international competitions by Otakar Saffek, Stine’s Czechoslovakian counterpart. There are also meeting minutes, sporting codes, correspondence, travel documents, and newspaper clippings. The material in this subseries is broken up between the FAI and the international meets, then arranged chronologically.

Subseries C. Safety Codes and Regulations is broken into three components: National Fire Protection Agency, Court Cases, and Safety Standards. The documents that make up this subseries are committee records for both the Pyrotechnics Committee and Fire Prevention Committee. Stine’s was a member of the Pyrotechnics Committee where he worked as a liaison between the model rocket developers and the National Fire Protection Agency from the early 1970s until 1990s. There are also depositions and other documents related to court cases where Stine was requested to contribute his expertise on the matter of safety protocols for the production of materials for model rockets. The remaining files are documents Stine collected on the topic of safety standards and laws that include legal matters, as well as tests of rocket materials conducted by the NAR.

Subseries D. on corporations is made up of the files related to model rocket manufacturers, organized in alphabetical order. Much of the material is correspondence, memos, news releases, and illustrations. There was a large oversized box of Centuri Engineering, Inc. model rocket designs donated with the material, which has been listed in the files related to the company rather than the Rockets and Missiles subseries or Designs in the Model Rocketry Series to maintain provenance of the illustrations. Notable are the correspondence files between Stine and Orville Carlisle, who together founded Model Missiles, Inc. in 1957 and founded the hobby.

The Design subseries is composed of photographs, illustrations, templates, and design notes for model rockets. Boost-Gliders, motors, scale birds and some general files are listed in this subseries however individual model rockets are integrated with the Rockets and Missiles subseries in the Aeronautical Research Files (Series 3) since Stine had model prototypes listed with the original rocket version.


  • 1957-2008

Language of Materials

Some materials are in Russian, French, and German. All other materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. Some of the audiovisual materials have not been reformatted and may not be used at this time. For more information contact us.


From the Collection: 85 Cubic Feet (126 letter size 4-inch document boxes (12 1/4" x 10 1/4" x 4), 10 letter size full-width document boxes (12 1/4" x 10 1/4" x 5), 5 legal size full-width document boxes (15 1/2" x 10 1/4" x 5), 1 legal size full-width document boxes (15 1/2" x 10 1/4" x 4) , 1 letter size half-width document box, 6 record cartons, 4 oversize boxes (16 1/2" x 20 1/2" x 3"), 3 oversize boxes (20 1/2" x 24 1/2" x 3), 6 oversize rolled storage boxes, 60 oversize folders (35 3/4" x 47 3/4"))


Series I. Model Rocketry (boxes 1-36, 107-108, 127-128, 130-131, 138, 140-141, 157, 162 and oversize folders 1-13 ) has been arranged by major themes of Stine’s work within the hobby. NAR Committee records have been alphabetized by committee name, as well as their publications and other affiliated sections. The various meets and competitions have been organized chronologically. A similar structure has been assigned to the International Model Rocketry subseries.


Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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