Sunday, March 27, 2011

Know Any Early NASA Staffers? Scan These Old Photos of NACA/Ames at Moffett Field

Ames Aeronautical Laboratory Staff--July 1948.

I guess, in a way, it was a good thing that my parents could not throw anything away. We have a museum quality collection here at Fort Chapman. And that's even after a year of donating to the Goodwill; secret, nighttime, visits to local dumpsters; and, those blessed, weekly pickups from the trash collectors.

My latest find is a photo from the summer of 1948 (Come on! That was before even I was born!) of the Ames NACA staff at Moffett Field--NACA stands for National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics--absorbed into NASA in 1959.

My father and mother moved to California so he could take a job at NACA/Ames as an aeronautical engineer.

I found my father pretty quickly in the top photo--though I did have to use a magnifying glass to do it. My father told my mother in one of his wartime letters that he often thinks he is smiling in a photo but then it turns out he isn't. This would be one of those times:

Dad may not be smiling, but he did like it in California. It's 1948 and look! Most of the engineers, my father included, are tieless. Whoopee!

I'm just posting the photo on my blog because this area has become, after all, Silicon Valley, and it is possible that Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak or somebody else like that could have a father or grandfather who started out at NACA and raised a brainiac who in turn founded one of the famous companies in this valley.

Or one of my schoolmates--or yours--might recognize a relative or friend.

So get out your magnifying glass(es) and see if you recognize anyone in the photos. If you do, please attach a comment. Feel free to download the photo and email it around. I'd love to hear about any discoveries you make.

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