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Archives at The Museum of Flight

John Cook Collection

Identifier: 2013-07-31
The John Cook Collection contains photographs, slides, and textual materials primarily related to the aviation industry career of John Cook, who worked at Boeing Aircraft Company as a Quality Control Inspector during the 1940s-1950s. There are also some photographs and documents related to his contribution to the Douglas World Cruisers circumnavigation of the globe during the 1920s.

Series I, Photographic materials, contains a total of one hundred (100) photographs and seventeen (17) slides. Most of the images are black-and-white, although there are some color shots. All of the slides are color images. Photographs range in size from 2x2" to 8x10" and are a mix of casual and professional shots. Some duplication occurs. Additionally, some images have stamps, numbers, or captions on the front and/or back.

Folders 1 and 2 pertain to Boeing aircraft and people with Folder 1, which includes twelve (12) color photographs and seventeen (17) slides, focusing on images of the Boeing 707 (#86972), which was assigned to the 89th Military Aircraft Wing at Andrews Air Force Base (Maryland). Its primary mission was to provide first class, worldwide transportation for the Vice-President of the United States, Cabinet members, and international dignitaries. Several of the images show John Cook standing near the plane with his co-workers. Folder 2 has twenty-nine (29) images of Boeing aircraft, including the 500th Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter, the first Boeing 707 jet airliner, the first Boeing KC-135, the last Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, and the Boeing 737 "City of Renton". Boeing personnel, including John Cook, are also shown. Locations include Renton and Seattle, Washington (state).

Folder 3 features thirty-one (31) aerial shots taken in the 1920s across assorted locations, including California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington (state). Most of the images have the stamp "Official Aerial Photograph - Do Not Publish Without Authority - 15th Photo Section - Air Corps, U. S. Army - Crissy Field, Presidio - San Francisco, Calif." on the reverse and many also include a caption on the front that identifies the location and date. Identified locations include Mills Field at San Francisco Municpal Airport, Pend Oreille Lake in Idaho, and Oakland Airport on Bay Farm Island in Oakland, California.

Folder 4 includes twenty-seven (27) assorted black-and-white photographs and one (1) photographic postcard. The postcard features Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Four (4) pictures taken in 1940-1941 feature military aviation cadets and aircraft training at Randolph Field, Texas; these include news release captions on the reverse. There are two (2) photographs related the Douglas World Cruisers Around-the-World flight; one shows the aircraft flying in formation over New York on September 8, 1924 and the other features the "New Orleans," "Chicago," and "Boston" parked with people next to them. Additional photographs include assorted aircraft, such as Curtiss B-2 Condor, Sikorsky C-6, and Boeing PW-9D.

Series II, Textual materials, includes employment records and a disposition form, as well as technical and inspection reports, training material, and a tool and jig manual from Cook's time at Boeing. It also includes the February 4, 1944 issue of Ryan Flying Reporter and a 1951 pictorial report [annual report?] for United Aircraft Corporation. Additionally, there is a 50th anniversary booklet issued September 28, 1974, celebrating the "First Round-the-World Flight" that is signed on the front cover by pilots Leigh Wade and H. H. Ogden, and John Cook. At the very end are three (3) clippings, two of which are photocopied documents, about Cook's personal and business life.


  • 1920-1986


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.4 Cubic Feet (1 full-width letter size document box)


Born in Scotland, John Cook (1899-) was a mechanic who worked on the engines that powered the Douglas World Cruisers that completed the first circumnavigation of the globe by air. Cook also served in the military for thirty-six years and later was a Quality Control Inspector for the Air Force Aircraft program at Boeing. The collection contains photographs, slides, and textual materials primarily related to his time at Boeing as well as some photographs and documents related to his contribution to the Douglas World Cruisers.

Biographical Note: John Cook

John Cook was born in Scotland in 1899. He served in the military for thirty-six years (including service in the First World War I) and was later a Quality Control Inspector for the Air Force Aircraft program at Boeing. In his youth, Cook was a mechanic in Buick's Liberty Engine program, and in this capacity he worked on the engines that powered the first circumnavigation of the globe by air. The pilots who made the trip gifted the American flag that they had carried on the trip to John Cook upon their arrival back home.


Biography derived from collection materials and donor information.

Immediate Source of Acquistion

The John Cook Collection was donated to The Museum of Flight in 2013 by family members.


No further accruals are expected.

Separated Materials

The following material has been separated from the archival component and is kept in Objects Storage:

  • One (1) flag [from Douglas World Cruiser Around the World flight]
Guide to the John Cook Collection
Completed - Level 3
L. Zaborowski, J. Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2018: This finding aid has been revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
  • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.
  • July 2020: Updated related agents.

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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