model rockets and amateur rockets

In an earlier postm, I made mention of the fact that back in the 40-50's amateur rockets were also called model rockets and vice-versa, before model
rockets and model rocketry as we all know it was beginning. My comments were ridiculed by various people.
A few years ago Jerry Irvine told me the story of a George S. James, stating that in reality it was this George James who actually invented model rocketry and I was pointed to a book published by Mr. George in 1948 as proof.
Author: James, George S. Title: Rocket building for modelers. Publisher: Glendale, Calif., Reaction research division, Rocket engineering co., c1948. Description: 20 p. Notes: Cover-title: Model rockets. Bibliography: p. 20. Language: English
Jerry also informed me that both G.Harry Stine and Orville Carlisle purchased copies of this book and thats what led Orv Carlisle to do his black powder rocket motor thing..... I will admit that the book does have a drawing and a chapter on how to make black powder rocket motors, but they look to me to be more like the fireworks BP skyrockets than actual "model rocket" motors as we have come to know them. The BP motors in this manual do not have a integrated delay and ejection charge. In fact BP rocket motors as described in the James book look to me like old BP skyrocket motors. The fact that both G.Harry and Orv may have purchased and read this book doesn't mean it was teh direct cause for the later invention of true model rockets and true model rocket motors.
In this book, which I have a copy of, The phrase or term model rocket plane is used. And in fact there is a drawing for a model rocket plan powered by a black powder or zinc dust rocket motor. And you know something, it could almost pass for a boost glider. But unfortunately almost isn't good enough. If you would take the time to do research on this and other BP rocket powered planes I have found evidence that they date back to at least 1908 and Germany. In fact take a gander at the history and archives sections at www.jetex.org and you will find what appears to be jetex powered rocket planes of all descriptions. I have no doubt that most if not all of these model rocket planes, would not be considered boost gliders as they were not launched vertically as we launch our model rocket gliders; instead they were either hand lauched with the roket motor fuse being lit prior to hand or catapult launch.
You will notice iabove that it lists the Cover-Title of the George James book as Model rockets. And that is to be expected because now I have additional proof that indeed amateur rockets were also called model rockets by other people:
see here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ROCKET-HANDBOOK-for-AMATEURS-Wernher-von-Braun-wPxDJ1sH_W0QQitemZ4587032843QQcategoryZ378QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
This is an auction for a book copyright in 1959 so it was probably written in the 57-59 timeframe.
The title of the Book is : "The Rocket Handbook for Amateurs" by a Lt. Col. Charles M. Parkin,Jr with a foreword by none other than your's and my favorite Ex-NAZI, Werner Von Braun himself. The subtitle of this book states:
"An Illustrated Guide to the Safe Construction, Testing and Launching of MODEL ROCKETS. "
hmmmm.. Some of the chapters are titled:" Model Rocket Instrumentation; and How to Build, Test and Launch A Model Rocket."......
So another piece of the puzzle falls into place. I think I have shown that at one time in history model rockets and amateur rockets were called the same things by people of the time. I also can provide additional documentation from the 57-60 timeframe were the terms model rocket and amateur rocket were used interchangeably by people.
And so, the thesis that George S. James inventd Model Rockets as we know it today, is bogus and at most he coined the term "Model Rocket" and it was later taken over and used by G.Harry Stine and Orv Carlisle. Remember that "rockets" had a bad connotation back when our form of model rocketry was invented. Thats why G.Harry Stine called his first company, Model Missiles,Inc and the NAR: Model Missiles Assn, as they had a more positive conotation to the public.
So thems are the facts. enjoy
shockie B)
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shockwaveriderz wrote:

Makes sense to me. A model is a model, regardless of whether the motor is manufactured commercially or not. I think it's unfortunate that these confusing and distorted uses of terminology have become locked into law. Same with "high power rocketry" -- to most people that phrase sounds dangerous and conjures up images of missiles, professional rockets, etc. Show them the same rocket and call it a "big model rocket", and everyone instantly understands that it's just a model that happens to be larger than most. Call it a "high power rocket" and people start asking idiotic questions like, "Are you really allowed to have those?" Call it a "big model rocket" and the response is more likely to be "Cool!"

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yes Ray, could you imagine asking officials or landowners for permission to launch some missiles! High Power or otherwise.
Layne Rossi
shockwaveriderz wrote:

Makes sense to me. A model is a model, regardless of whether the motor is manufactured commercially or not. I think it's unfortunate that these confusing and distorted uses of terminology have become locked into law. Same with "high power rocketry" -- to most people that phrase sounds dangerous and conjures up images of missiles, professional rockets, etc. Show them the same rocket and call it a "big model rocket", and everyone instantly understands that it's just a model that happens to be larger than most. Call it a "high power rocket" and people start asking idiotic questions like, "Are you really allowed to have those?" Call it a "big model rocket" and the response is more likely to be "Cool!"

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L&K wrote: ...

good point - and it depends on who you're talking to. for the AHJ & land owners it's just a big model rocket. for 3nd graders talking about it, it's a High Power Rocket.
kinda like the old saw, for the IRS it's just a boat, to your buddies it's a Yacht, and to the drawbridge operator it's a Ship.
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L&K wrote:

I know, that would be nuts!
i
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On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 04:45:27 GMT, "shockwaveriderz"

Nice article with no whinning. There's hope for you after all. 8-)
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thanks Phil I almost "feel" the love......shall we Hug it out?
shockie B)

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Good stuff!
I have a copy of the Parkin book and a quick scan appears to validate your conclusion that model and amateur are used interchangably. The "amateur" seems to refer to people experimenting in rocketry outside of government/academia/industry. I get a hint that "model rocketry" refers to smaller rockets.
Brinley's 1960 "Rocket Manual for Amateurs" appears to use the term "amateur" exclusively.
The "Amateur Rocket Association, Inc., Franklin, Indiana 46131" published a "Rocket and Space Science Series" of which I have volume 2 "Propellants". That was in 1967. Sadly there is no more information in the book about the Association. The authors were Ramnarace of the Bsdger Army Ammunition Plant, Ketcham from University of Tulsa, and Martin of the University of Oklahoma. The title and preface are the only places where they use the term amateur. I didn't find a reference to model rocketry.     Will
shockwaveriderz wrote:

...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ROCKET-HANDBOOK-for-AMATEURS-Wernher-von-Braun-wPxDJ1sH_W0QQitemZ4587032843QQcategoryZ378QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

...
--
Will Marchant, NAR 13356, Tripoli 10125 L3
snipped-for-privacy@amsat.org http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/will /
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shockwaveriderz wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ROCKET-HANDBOOK-for-AMATEURS-Wernher-von-Braun-wPxDJ1sH_W0QQitemZ4587032843QQcategoryZ378QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Orville Carlisle was a fireworks lover who was instrumental in the early days of the PGI. His forte was fireworks, whereas he's but a footnote in hobby rocketry. The original black powder model rocket motors were an adaptation of the fireworks rockets he made, carrying over the concept of no metal parts and materials with extremely low shrapnel potential along with low cost and rapid manufacturing(Vern Estes' contribution).
George James' claim I believe was the concept of replaceable rocket motors in an airframe for hobby use. Not exactly a truly original idea though! Amateur rockets in that time were pretty much all single use with integration of motor and airframe. The Jetex type motors were reloadable but not expendable. I doubt George could have patented his idea. But he did suggest it before others marketed it.
As with most technology, ideas get swirled around and tossed back and forth and modified and expanded until something gels. History quite often ascribes credit where none is deserved(like Columbus discovering the "New World!") and overlooks the real beginning. History is always murky. And terminology takes time to settle into general acceptance.
Always good though to get to the original documents. I didn't know George's idea had more to do with gliders than 'regular rockets.' That's an important detail. +McG+
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