Recent Blog Posts

J.H. Manchester Round Barn, Ohio

The construction of round barns was an early 20-Century phenomenon with a rich and surprisingly controversial history. These barns, heavily marketed by aggressive builders and architects as the most efficient barn design, once dotted the countryside of the upper Midwest, particularly Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. This is the story about the men who built these unique barns; their lives are as interesting as the barns they built. Beginnings – Fowler’s Octagon Orson Squire Fowler The quest for a better barn began with mid 19th-century octagonal designs. Orson Squire Fowler was a well-known writer who was at the   read more…


Great Color footage of the X-15 in flight.  This ‘annual report’ was produced by North American Aviation about the 1960 flights of the X-15.  It covers the ground testing fire that almost killed pilot Scott Crossfield.  Crossfield gives his assessment of the incident.  This video has fascinating in-flight sequences from the X-15 flight at over 130,000 feet.


The X-15

The X-15 rocket plane still is the fastest aircraft ever made.  Clocked at over 4000 miles an hour and reaching an altitude of 67 miles over the surface of the Earth, the X-15 taught NASA engineers all about flight, stability, thermal handling at the extremes.  Still the coolest plane ever made, the X-15 was every boomer kid’s dream model airplane. Here’s an excerpt from “X-15 Research Results” by Wendell Stillwell.  Written in 1964 at the conclusion of the X-15 Project, it’s by far the best overview of the X-15 program ever written.  This report from NASA outlines the concept, construction   read more…


Fascinating U.S. Government film about the Memphis Belle: The dramatic 16 mm color film of actual battles was made by cinematographerFirst Lieutenant Harold J. Tannenbaum. The film was directed by Major William Wyler, narrated by Eugene Kern, and had scenes at its Bassingbourn base photographed by Hollywood cinematographer Captain William H. Clothier. It was made under the auspices of the First Motion Picture Unit, a branch of the United States Army Air Forces. The film actually depicted the next to last mission of the crew on May 15, 1943, and was made as a morale-building inspiration for the Home Front by   read more…