Here it is, “3/05″ (March 5th), and I wondered: What is in collection # 305? So I decided to try another “boxploration” into MS-305, the W. J. Blanchard Aeroproducts Inc. Collection (links to PDF finding aid).
This collection contains personal papers and correspondence belonging to Werner J. Blanchard, co-founder Engineering Products Inc., which he founded in Vandalia, Ohio, in 1935 with his friend Charles MacNeil. The small corporation was purchased by General Motors Corporation in 1940 and became GM’s Aeroproducts Division, of which Blanchard was the first general manager.
To learn more about the full contents of the W. J. Blanchard Collection, please review the finding aid (PDF), or email us. (As a matter of interest, we also have a manuscript collection pertaining to W. J. Blanchard’s wife, Juliet Stroh Blanchard (MS-340).)
Here are just a few of the interesting items I found while exploring the boxes in (or “boxplorating,” if you will) the W. J. Blanchard Collection:
W. J. Blanchard (center) speaking to a crowd outside Aeroproducts, undated (Photo by GM Aeroproducts, MS-305, Box 3a, Folder 9)
A crowd gathered outside Aeroproducts, undated (Photo by GM Aeroproducts Division, MS-305, Box 3a, Folder 9)
Charles F. Kettering (left), W. J. Blanchard (right), and an unidentified man, undated (MS-305, Box 3a, Folder 9)
W. J. Blanchard (right) with a factory worker, undated (Photo by GM Aeroproducts, MS-305, Box 3a, Folder 9)
Aerial view of GM Aeroproducts plant in Vandalia, Ohio, undated (Photo by GM Aeroproducts, MS-305, Box 3a, Folder 9)
Dissolution agreement when Engineering Products became GM Aeroproducts (MS-305, Box 3, Folder 4)
GM strike materials (MS-305, Box 5, Folder 3)
The W. J. Blanchard Collection is unusual in that it includes one box of small artifacts (three-dimensional objects, as opposed to documents or photographs), which are usually the domain of museums, rather than archives. Here are a few images of some of the artifacts in the Blanchard Collection:
Jefferson ‘Little Jeff’ Toy Transformer (MS-305, Box 7)
Kit of engineering tools (MS-305, Box 7)
Detail of key from box of engineering tools (MS-305, Box 7)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest “boxploration” into the Wright State University Special Collections & Archives.