Abstract

Papers of Hans Reissner (1874-1967), aeronautical engineer, physicist, professor, and researcher. Reissner designed the first successful aircraft with all-metal wing and tail surfaces and the first controllable-pitch propeller. He began his career in Germany, working with Ferdinand Zeppelin, Hugo Junkers and also teaching. He immigrated to the United States in 1938 and taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1938-1944) and the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1944-1954). Materials include correspondence, much of it relating to German aviation development in the early twentieth century; published and unpublished articles documenting Reissner's work in Germany and the United States; propeller patents (1919-1946); an aerial bombing chart (1915); teaching materials dated after 1937; photographs of early German aircraft; and, photographs of Hans Reissner. The Hans Reissner Papers are arranged in eight series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS BY HANS REISSNER, 4) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 5) LECTURES AND TEACHING MATERIAL, 6) PATENTS, 7) SUBJECT FILES, and 8) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.

Biography

Hans Jacob Reissner was born on January 18, 1874, in Berlin, Germany. He earned a degree in civil engineering from Berlin's Technische Hochschule in 1897, then spent a year in the United States working as a structural draftsman. Reissner returned to Germany to study physics with Max Planck at Berlin University. In 1900 he changed direction and attended the Technische Hochschule, where he studied under Heinrich Mueller-Breslau and completed one of the first engineering doctorates in 1902. His dissertation was on vibrations of framed structures. Reissner joined the faculty at Berlin's Technische Hochschule, but he also worked on outside projects, including structural analysis for Count Zeppelin. In 1904, he was awarded a fellowship to study the use of iron in construction in the United States.

In 1906, Reissner returned to Germany and was appointed professor of mechanics at the Technische Hochschule in Aachen. Up until this time his research had dealt with topics at the intersections of mechanics and physics, but his attention now focused upon the new field of aviation. By 1908 he was familiar enough with the basic areas of aircraft stability, control and propulsion to deliver a seminal paper published as "Wissenschafliche Fragen aus der Flugtechnik," the first of many articles on these topics. Hugo Junkers, also on the faculty at Aachen, and Reissner designed and constructed the first successful all-metal and tail-first airplane, the "Ente."

After seven years in Aachen Reissner was invited to return to Berlin's Technische Hochschule in 1913 as professor of mathematics in the civil engineering department. During World War I he was responsible for the structural analysis of the Staaken four-engine bomber and designed the first controllable-pitch propellers for this aircraft. He was awarded the Iron Cross for civilians for his work.

In 1938, Reissner immigrated to the United States, where he taught first at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1938-1944) and then at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1944-1954). For his seventy-fifth birthday in 1949 he was honored with the presentation of a festschrift, the REISSNER ANNIVERSARY VOLUME, at a dinner in New York.

Reissner retired from professional life in 1954 and died in 1967.

Scope and Content

The Hans Reissner Papers document the career of a professor, researcher and aeronautical engineer during the development of early-twentieth century German aviation. The materials include correspondence, reprints, manuscripts, personal documents, patents, mechanical drawings, and photographs. Most of the material dated prior to 1938 is in German.

The papers are arranged in eight series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS BY HANS REISSNER, 4) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, 5) LECTURES AND TEACHING MATERIAL, 6) PATENTS, 7) SUBJECT FILES, and 8) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.

SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL

The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL series contains photographs, awards, memorabilia, and articles summarizing Reissner's career that were published on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday and following his death in 1967. Eric Reissner's article entitled "Hans Reissner, Engineer, Physicist and Engineering Scientist" provides a narrative of his father's life and intellectual achievements. For additional biographical materials see also Series 2B: General Historical Files.

The "personal documents" folder is arranged chronologically and includes academic, health, residence, travel, and work records for Reissner, as well as birth and death certificates for family members. There are also two documents from the German war department, dated December 19, 1913, and July 3, 1914.

SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE

The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged in two subseries: A) Hans Reissner Correspondence, A-Z and B) Eric Reissner, Reference Correspondence.

A) The first subseries is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and contains correspondence with colleagues and those involved with the patenting and construction of aircraft. There is a long exchange with Moritz Straus (1929-1946) and three letters from Erwin Schrodinger written in 1926. The correspondence with Ludwig Durr, Ernst Uhland and Ferdinand Zeppelin dates from the period when he worked as a structural analyst for Zeppelin. Photographs and mechanical drawings of early biplane construction are located in the "Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Luftfahrt" file.

B) The second subseries consists of Eric Reissner's reference correspondence files on topics associated with his father's work and role in aviation history. The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. The "General Historical" files document the contributions of Reissner, Hugo Junkers and Ludwig Prandtl to aircraft development and include photographs of the "Ente," the first succcessful all-metal and tail-first airplane.

SERIES 3: WRITINGS BY HANS REISSNER

The WRITINGS BY HANS REISSNER series is arranged in three subseries: A) Published, B) Unpublished and C) Notebooks.

A) The Published subseries largely contains Reissner's journal articles and technical writings arranged according to a numbered publication list that begins the subseries. Publications not on the list are interfiled by date. The subseries contains 54 of the 97 listed works, of which 42 are in German and 12 are in English. Although some article files include drafts, computations and notes, most of the articles are in printed form.

B) The Unpublished subseries contains manuscript papers and analytical reports arranged alphabetically. Included is Reissner's highly detailed structural analysis of Count Zepplin's airship entitled "Erlauterungsbericht zu dem Entwurf eines Luftschiffes - System Sr. Excellenz, des Grafen von Zeppelin."

C) Notebooks contain reports, calculations and design specifications and are arranged alphabetically by title.

SERIES 4: WRITINGS OF OTHERS

The WRITINGS OF OTHERS series includes articles by Ferdinand Zeppelin and others about his airship, two dissertations for which Reissner served as adviser, a collection of reviews of Reissner's publications, and reviews of the REISSNER ANNIVERSARY VOLUME, a festschrift presented to him on his seventy-fifth birthday.

SERIES 5: LECTURES AND TEACHING MATERIAL

This series contains material in English for lectures Reissner gave at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the 1943 lecture entitled "Aviation Technology of Two Wars," in which Reissner reviews technical aspects of the development of aircraft and his own contributions to aircraft structure and propeller design. The materials are arranged alphabetically.

SERIES 6: PATENTS

The PATENTS series, arranged by date, comprises Reissner's German, British and American patents for controllable pitch propellers. The last folder in this series contains patent documentation and notes.

SERIES 7: SUBJECT FILES

This series contains mechanical drawings for airplane wings, propellers and bridges. There are brochures and accounting information for propeller manufacturers, a 1915 ballistics chart for aerial bombing, Reissner's scrapbook of propeller photographs, and material relating to curriculum reform for Germany's Technische Hochschule system in 1919.

SERIES 8: ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES

This series contains the originals of brittle or high-acid content documents that have been photocopied.

BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL

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11 Articles about Hans Reissner, 1964 - 1977.
12 Awards, certificates and diplomas.
13MC-035-03Awards, certificates and diplomas - Oversize.
14 Personal documents, 1881 - 1938.
15 Photographs - Hans Reissner.
16FB-210-02Seventy-fifth Anniversary Dinner [Scrapbook], January 18, 1949, in Honor of Dr. Hans Reissner..., 1949. Includes guest list, correspondence and press clippings.

CORRESPONDENCE

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Hans Reissner Correspondence, A-Z

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17 A - Miscellaneous.
18 Aeroquip Corporation, 1941.
19 Albatroswerke G.m.b.H., 1914.
110 Argus Motoren Gesellschaft m.b.H., 1935 - 1941.
111 Aviation Manufacturing Corporation, 1936. Includes three British patents on propellers.
112 B - Miscellaneous.
113 Bruckmann, Wilhelm, 1909.
114 Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Curtiss Propeller Division, 1942.
115 D - Miscellaneous.
116 Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Luftfahrt, e.v., 1914. Includes "Bericht uber den Prufungsauftrag P.49 - Erprobung der Tragwirkung des Schraubenwindes auf Flugel und Flossen eines Albatros-Doppeldeckers," with mechanical drawings and photographs of biplane construction.
117 Durr, Ludwig, 1902.
118 F - Miscellaneous.
119 G - Miscellaneous.
120 General Motors Corporation. Aeroproducts Division, 1941. See also Series 2A: Taylor, E.S.
121 H - Miscellaneous.
122 Hirsch, Peter, 1939 - 1941.
123 Hunsacker, J.C., 1941.
124 K - Miscellaneous.
125 Knight, William, 1921.
126 Krohn, Reinhold, 1922.
127 L - Miscellaneous.
128 M - Miscellaneous.
129 Minckin-Metallwerke, 1902.
130 N - Miscellaneous.
131 O - Miscellaneous.
132 P - Miscellaneous.
133 Prandtl, Ludwig, 1911 - 1950.
134 R - Miscellaneous.
135 Reiser, Leo, 1941.
136 Reissner, Eric, (son), 1951 - 1952.
137 Reissner, Hans. Letters to unidentified correspondents.
138 Reissner, Josephine, (wife), 1914.
139 Reissner, Max, (father), 1909.
140 S - Miscellaneous.
141 Schrodinger, Erwin, 1926.
21 Straus, Moritz, 1929 - 1946.
22 T - Miscellaneous.
23 Taylor, E.S., 1941. See also Series 2A: General Motors Corporation. Aeroproducts Division.
24 U - Miscellaneous.
25 Uhland, Ernst, 1902 - 1903.
26 W - Miscellaneous.
27 War Department. Air Corps. Materiel Division, 1941.
28 Zeppelin, Ferdinand, 1902 - 1903.
29 Unidentified correspondents. Letters to Reissner.

Eric Reissner, Reference Correspondence

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210 Aachen -- Aeronautics, 1966 - 1982.
211 Correction of Errors Concerning H. Reissner's Work in Aachen, 1993.
212 General Historical - Part 1. Includes issue of FLUGSPORT (January 1928) and a festschrift for Hugo Junkers entitled HUGO JUNKERS: PIONIER DER INDUSTRIELLEN FORSCHUNG.
213 General Historical - Part 2. Includes JAHRBUCH 1954: DER WISSENSCHAFTLICHEN GESELLSCHAFT FUR LUFTFAHRT E.V.
214 General Historical - Photographs of early aircraft.
215 Gesellschaft fur angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik (GAMM).
216 Propeller Theory and Design (Variable Pitch).
217 Reissner-Nordstrom, 1981 - 1982.
218 Schrodinger, 1984.
219 Schulz, Werner, 1968 - 1981. Includes biographical sketch and list of Hans Reissner's publications published in DER STAHLBAU, 1959.

WRITINGS BY HANS REISSNER

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Published

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220 List of Hans Reissner's publications, 1967. Published in JAHRBUCH 1967 DER WGLR.
221 Unnumbered. "Eine neue Fahrbahnanordnung fur eiserne Strafsenbrucken", 1897. With M. Gruning.
31 1. "Uber Fahrbahnuberhohung", 1899.
32 3. "Schwingungsaufgaben aus der Theorie des Fachwerks", 1902. Dissertation.
33 6. "Schwingungsaufgaben aus der Theorie des Fachwerks", 1903.
34 10. "Eine Bemerkung uber Gravitations- und Elektronische Masse", 1905.
35 12. "Amerikanische Eisenbauwerkstatten", 1906.
36 13. "Uber Fachwerke mit Zyklischer Symmetrie", 1907. Includes correspondence.
37 14. "Uber die Spannungsverteilung in Zylindrischen Behalterwanden", 1908.
38 15. "Wissenschafliche Fragen aus der Flugtechnik", 1908.
39 16. "Uber die Knicksicherheit ebener Bleche", 1907.
310 19. "Die Seitensteuerung der Flugmaschinen", 1910.
311 21, 23, 28. "Studien zur Berechnung und Planmassigen Prufung der Luftschrauben", 1910 - 1912. Bound together.
312 22. "Theorie des Erddrucks", 1910.
313 Unnumbered. "Das Propeller-Problem", 1911.
314 25. "Spannungen in Kugelschalen (Kuppeln)", 1911.
315 29. "Einige Bemerkungen zur Seitenstabilitat der Drachenflieger", 1912.
316 38. "Uber die Eigengravitation des Elektrischen Feldes nach der Einsteinschen Theorie", 1916.
317 39. "Festigkeitsberechung der Flugzeugholme", 1916. With E. Schwerin.
318 40. "Uber die Biegungsbeanspruchung von Schraubenpropellern und die Entlastende Wirkung der Zentrifugalkraft", 1917 - 1918.
319 41. "Die Biegungslinie des Vollkommen Elastichen Stabes Infolge Langskraft und Querbelastung in der Nahe...", 1918.
320 43. "Wirkungsweiser und Anwerdungsgebiet von Verstellbaren Luftschrauben", 1920.
321 46. "Bemerkungen zur Abferderung der Motorwagen", 1921.
322 47. "Stationarer Bewegungszustand Einer Schraubenformigen Wirbelflache", 1922.
323 48. "Uber die Kraftschlussigkeit von Zahnradgetrieben, Insbesondere fur Schiffspropeller", 1924.
324 49. "Zum Erddruckproblem", 1924. Includes galleys and uncut page proofs.
325 51. "Energiekriterium der Knicksicherheit", 1925.
326 53. "Beitrag zur Theorie des Elektrons", 1925.
327 54. "Uber eine Moglichkeit, die Wesentlichen Eigenschaften von Kern und Elektron...", 1925.
328 Unnumbered. Book review of DIE ELASTISCHEN PLATTEN by A. Nadai, 1926.
329 Unnumbered. "Die Grundlagen der Elasticitatstheorie. A. Spannungen", 1926.
330 58. "Augenstabproblem und Verwandte Aufgaben", 1928.
331 60. "Uber den Einfluss der Inneren Reibung auf die Stabilitat Rotierender Wellen", 1929.
332 62. "Allgemeine Statik (und Graphische Statik) der Systeme Starrer Korper", 1929.
333 Unnumbered. Book review of DIE KRAFTFELDER IN FESTEN ELASTISCHEN KORPERN UND IHRE PRAKTISSSCHEN ANWENDUNGEN, 1929. By Th. Wyss.
334 65. "Warum ich den 'Enten' Flugzeugtyp nicht Weiter Forderte", 1930.
335 67. "Eigenspannungen und Eigenspannungsquellen", 1931.
336 Unnumbered. Review of DIE RELATIVITATSTHEORIE by Dr. Ludwig Hopf, 1931.
337 68. "Theorie der Biegungsschwingungen Frei Aufliegender Rechteckplatten Unter dem Einfluss Beweglicher...", 1931. (Bemerkung zur Arbeit von H. Schmidt.)
338 71. "Ringplatte und Augenstab", 1933. With Fr. Strauch.
339 72. "Formanderung, Spannung und Kleine Schwingungen von Staben mit Anfanlicher Krummung und Verwindung...", 1933. Erste Mitteilung.
340 73. "Formanderung und Spannungen Einer Dunnwandigen, an den Randern Frei Aufliegenden, Beliebig Belasteten...", 1933. Eine Erweiterung der Navierschen Integrationsmethode.
341 74. "Spannungsverteilung in der Gurtplatte einer Rippendecke", 1934.
342 75. "Ebene und Raumliche Stromung Zaher, Inkompressibler, Tragheitsfreier Flussigkeiten Zwischen...", 1935. Mitteilung 1.
343 76. "Ebene und Raumliche Stromung Zaher, Inkompressibler, Tragheitsfreier Flussigkeiten Zwischen...", 1936. Mitteilung 2.
344 77. "Ubergangsbogen fur Eisenbahnen und Autorennbahnen", 1937.
345 79. "On the Relation Between Thrust and Torque Distribution and the Dimensions and Arrangement of Propeller", 1937. Includes typed draft.
346 80. "Senkrechte und Schrage Durchtritt Einer in Einem Flussigen Medium Erzeugten Ebenen Dilatations-...", 1938.
347 81. "Elastic Instability of Tubular and Panel Shaped Cylindrical Shells", 1938.
348 82. "Generalized Vortex Theory of the Screw Propeller and Its Application", 1940.
349 83. "Wing of Minimum Total Resistance", 1940.
41 84. "On Lubrication Flow with Periodic Distribution Between Prescribed Boundaries", 1941.
42 85. "Theory of Propellers", 1942.
43 86. "Graphical Statics", 1942.
44 87. "Aerodynamic Center, Control and Stability of Airplanes", 1943.
45 88. "Oscillations of Suspension Bridges", 1943.
46 89. "Aeronautical Engineering Courses for Undergraduate and Graduate Curricula", 1943.
47 90. "Systematic Analysis of Thermal Turbojet Propulsion", 1947.
48 92. "Blade Systems of Circular Arrangement in Steady, Compressible Flow", 1948.
49 Unnumbered. "Vibrations of a Helicopter Rotor-Fuselage System Induced by the Main Rotor Blades in Flight", 1954.

Unpublished

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410 Belastung des Turmes.
411 Bericht Reissner: uber II Internat. Kongress fur Tech. Mechanik -- Zurich, 12-17 September, 1926.
412 Clairautsches Problem.
413MC-035-05Erlauterungsbericht zu dem Entwurf Eines Luftschiffes - System Sr. Excellenz, des Grafen von Zeppelin, 1903. Analytical report, computations and mechanical drawings for an airship.
414 Formanderung, Spannung und Kleine Schwingugen von Rotierenden Staben, Insbesondere Luftschraubenflugen mit.... Abhandlung 2.
415 Hauptpunkte des Referats u. der Discussion des Technischen Pubs.
416 Lubrication Flow of Periodic Distribution Between Prescribed Boundaries.
417 Praktische Schraubenberechnung, 1917.
418 Propeller Design, 1941.
419MC-035-06Propellertheorie, 1933 - 1935. Includes graphs.
420 Satz: Masse und Gewicht des Ausschusses fur Einheiten und Formelgrossen, 1931.
421 SPEE Report, 1939. Engineering Education and Teaching on Vibration (and Oscillation) Phenomena in Undergraduate Courses.
422 Tech. Eindrucke vom [?] Kriegschaupl.
423 Theoretischen Untersuchungen von Schrauben.
424 Theory of Dynamic Balancing of Propellers, 1943.
425 Uber den Festikeitsnachweis des Albatros-[?]..., 1914.
426 Viscous Flow of Periodic Distribution in Narrow Channels.
427 Unidentified titles (2).

Notebooks

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428 Berichts, 1917.
51 Protokollbuch 1, 1907.
52 Protokollbuch 1a (Reinschrift von Prot.buch.1), 1907.
53 Untersuchung der Stabilitat von Aeroplanen. Heft 2.

WRITINGS OF OTHERS

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54 Bandholz, J. H. "Amerikanische Eisenbauwerkstatten", 1907.
55 Bartsch von Sigsfeld. "Anlagen zur Eingabe des Grafen von Zeppelin".
56 Gehlen, K. "Querstabilitat und Seitensteuerung von Flugmaschinen", 1913. Referent: Professor Dr. Ing. H. Reissner.
57 Helmbold, H.B. "Die Grenze des Luftschraubendurchmessers". Includes mechanical drawings.
58 Kober, T. "Lenkbares Luftschiff nach den Ungaben Seiner Excellenz General Graf von Zeppelin", 1894. Includes mechanical drawing and notes.
59 Kubler, Hugo. "Das Zeppelin'sche Luftfahrzeug", 1901.
510 REISSNER ANNIVERSARY VOLUME, 1949 -- Reviews.
511 Reviews of Hans Reissner's publications by various authors.
512 Schwerin, E. "Uber Spannungen in Symmetrisch und Unsymmetrisch Belasteten Kugelschalen (Kuppeln)...", 1918. Referent: Professor Dr.-Ing. Reissner.
513 Thalau, K. "Bericht der Deutschen Versuchsanstalt fur Luftfahrt E.V., Berlin-Adlershof ", 1925. Includes Bericht by C. Jansen.
514 Zeppelin, Ferdinand. "Notruf zur Rettung der Flugschiffahrt", 1903.
515 Zeppelin, Ferdinand. "Schriftstucke und Bemerkungen zur Klarlegung des Wahren Wertes Meiner Flugschiffe", 1902.

LECTURES AND TEACHING MATERIAL

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516 Aerodynamic Problems in Airscrew Design -- Lecture Given at M.I.T., 1937. October 1937.
517 Aeronautical Aerodynamics.
518 Aviation Technology of Two Wars, 1943.
519 Dynamics 0691. Fall 1951-52 - Chapter 1. Kinematics (Geometry of Motion).
61 Notes on Cartesian Tensors.
62 Theory of Elasticity - Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Graduate Division -- Fall Term, 1948 - 1949. Given by H.J. Reissner and V.L. Salerno.

PATENTS

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63 1919, January 11: "Stellspindelantrieb fur Verstellbare Propeller".
64 1933, August 13: "Verstellpropeller mit Ableitung der Verstellbewegung von der Propellerwelle aus Gegenuber".
65 1938(?), December 31: "Fliehkraftregler, Insbesondere fur Verstellbare Luftschrauben".
66 1941, August 5: "Regulatable Propeller Having Adjustable Blades".
67 1943, August 10: "Controls for Variable Pitch Propellers".
68 1943, December 7: "Screw Propeller, Particularly for Aircraft".
69 1944, March 14: "Aircraft Propeller Construction".
610 1944, May 8: "Propeller Construction for Aircraft or the Like".
611 1944, December 12: "Propeller Construction for Aircraft or the Like".
612 1944, December 19: "Screw Propellers, Particularly for Aircraft".
613 1945, January 2: "Screw Propellers, Particularly for Aircraft".
614 1945, February 24: "Propulsion Device, Particularly for Aircraft".
615 1946, July 9: "Propeller Construction for Aircraft or the Like".
616 Patent documentation and notes.

SUBJECT FILES

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617MC-035-04Aerial Bombing Ballistics Charts - L. Lichtenstein and Hans Reissner, 1915.
618MC-035-02Aircraft - Mechanical drawings.
619MC-035-01Bridges - Mechanical drawings.
620 Propeller manufacture - Helix Propeller-Gesellschaft m.b.H., 1919 - 1920.
621 Propeller manufacture - Miscellaneous brochures.
622 Propellers - Scrapbook of photographs.
623 Technische Hochschule.

ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES

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624 Originals of Preservation Photocopies.



Finding aid generated: 2005-10-31