Lot 20: Chester A. Arthur Signed Document
12th June 2019
Partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 15 x 18.5, November 10, 1883. President Arthur appoints William F. Durand "to the grade of Assistant Engineer with the relative rank of Ensign." Signed at the conclusion by President Arthur and countersigned by Secretary of the Navy William E. Chandler. Original blue Navy Department seal remains affixed to handsome lower vignette. Rolled and in fine condition, with a light layer of adhesive residue over the entire reverse from prior display, not at all affecting the attractive front of the document. William F. Durand (1859–1958) was a naval officer and pioneering mechanical engineer who contributed significantly to the development of aircraft propellers. After serving in the Navy from 1880 to 1887, he became an engineering professor at Michigan State College, Cornell University, and, most notably, Stanford University, where he taught for 13 years. In 1916, he became the first civilian chair of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor to NASA. His engineering contributions and public service in the aeronautical sphere continued through World War II.
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