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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Elsie Anderson Collection

Identifier: 1997-04-17A
The Elsie Anderson Collection primarily relates to Boeing aircraft and test flights during the 1940s-1950s. The collection is comprised of negatives, films, photographic prints, and a small amount of textual materials, likely collected by Anderson during her time as a Boeing employee.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of sixty-two (62) black-and-white photographic negatives featuring mostly Boeing aircraft, although there are other manufacturers as well, including Douglas and Curtiss. Specific aircraft include Boeing Model 314 Clipper, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Boeing B-50, Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, Curtiss C-46F Commando, and Douglas DC-3. Aircraft are featured in flight and on the ground. Two (2) images feature named planes; the Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Noah's Arc"[sic] and the nose of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Andy Gump."

There are also several negatives featuring various aircraft crashes, including the 1949 crashes at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington of Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter (45-59594) and Douglas DC-3 (NC 79025), as well as the 1949 crash of a Curtiss C-46F Commando (N 5075N) in Georgetown, Seattle, Washington. Other images depict assorted aerial shots within the Puget Sound region.

The collection also has six (6) loose black-and-white photographs, most of which are 8x10", though one is slightly larger. Five (5) of the images have Boeing stamps and/or numbers printed on the reverse of the image. Three (3) of the photographs feature the Boeing XF8B-1 in flight with Robert "Bob" Lawson in the pilot's seat. Additionally there are two (2) copies of an image featuring three pilots, A. Elliot Merrill, Ken Luplow, and John Fornasero, in the cockpit of a Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter. Each of the men has signed the photograph. One (1) image features four pilots preparing for Boeing B-17 test flight as they stand in front of the Boeing Flight Test Laboratory. The pilots are Charles E. (Chuck) Blaine, A.C. Reed, W.F. Milliken, and Edward I. Wersebe. There is also one (1) photographic reproduction print of the Boeing Model 314 Clipper on water take-off, likely from a magazine cover.

Textual materials include two (2) accident investigation reports from the Civil Aeronautics Board, relased in 1949 and 1950. The May 4, 1949 report corresponds to the negatives of the January 2, 1949 Douglas DC-3 crash while the August 30, 1950 report corresponds to the negatives of the July 19, 1949 Curtiss C-46F Commando crash. Both reports have accompanying newspaper clippings from the San Francisco Chronicle. All of these materials are photocopies.

Finally, the collection contains eight (8) films; two (2) are 8mm and six (6) are 16mm. The original labels are still on the canisters. The first six in the following list are 16mm films, while the last two are 8mm films:

  • B-52G rollout from KAKE-TV (Wichita, Kansas ABC affiliate)
  • B-52G rollout, Wichita, Kansas color-sound print; BMW 160-3, 150ft
  • B-52G rollout, black & white print, TV-clip
  • B-52G rollout, black & white print
  • Boeing Bombers at Alpine, Texas; “Alpine Cowboys” June 9 and 10, 1956
  • Boeing-52G “scrap” color
  • Boeing 377 Stratocruiser Flight
  • 1st B-47 Flight
  • Dates

    • 1940s-1950s


    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. The films are currently unavailable, pending preservation. 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.


    0.45 Cubic Feet ( 1 flat box)


    Elsie Anderson worked at Boeing Company as a Public Relations representative, circa 1940s-1950s. The collection includes negatives, films, photographic prints, and a small amount of textual materials related to Boeing aircraft and test flights occurring during the 1940s-1950s.

    Biographical Note: Elsie Anderson

    Elsie Anderson worked for the Boeing Company as a Public Relations representative, circa 1940s-1950s. The location of her office at the Boeing flight test facility on Boeing Field gave her the opportunity to collect an irreplaceable and unique set of imagery that goes well beyond “official” Boeing photographs.

    No further information is known.


    Biography derived from collection materials.


    No further accruals are expected.

    Separated Materials

    The following materials have been separated from the archival component and are kept in the Library:

    Seventeen issues of Boeingmagazine ranging from April 1946-May 1950.


    Guide to the Elsie Anderson Collection
    Completed - Level 4
    A. Heidrick, K. Ahrens, and L. Czechowski; J.Parent
    2015, 2018
    Description rules
    Language of description
    The project to process, re-house, and inventory the Anderson collection and create this finding aid was generously funded by a Heritage Collections Care grant from 4Culture in 2010.
    Edition statement
    2nd Edition

    Revision Statements

    • 2018: This finding aid was revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
    • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.
    • 2019: Finding aid revised to reflect changes to storage enclosures.

    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
    Contact us with a research request