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Merrill, Albert Adams (Aviation pioneer)



  • Existence: 1874 - 1952


Background: Caltech Instructor in Aeronautics, 1918-1930, 1940-1952.


Description: First an accountant by trade, Merrill was throughout his lifetime interested in flying. Upon his graduation from high school in 1892 and 11 years before the Wright brothers' first flight, Merrill delivered an essay on aerial navigation, predicting that men would fly in small ships with light, powerful engines within 10 to 15 years. In 1894 he started the Boston Aeronautical Society and in 1911 learned to fly, first at Squantum and later at the Wrights' place in Dayton. At Caltech, Merrill supervised the design, construction and operation of a small wind tunnel. He helped to develop small subsonic wind tunnels that a person could operate alone and held several patents for airplane design.


Collection Notes: Papers, 1892-1951. Includes biographical material, a small amount on wind tunnels and early flight, reprints of Merrill's articles, manuscript articles, patent specifications and three book-length manuscripts.

Collection size: 1 box, 0.5 linear ft.

Inventory available at the Archives.

Photo of A. A. Merrill with model in wind tunnel (PhotoNet).

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 2
Archival Object 1
Aeronautics 2
Manuscript Collection 1
Photo Archive 1