Skip to main content

Guide to the Pearl Robinson Papers, 1917-1978

Last updated

Overview of the Collection

Repository:
Special Collections & Archives
McIntyre Library
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
P.O. Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
(715)-836-2739
http://www.uwec.edu/Library/archives/info.htm

Reference Code: USGZE UHC386

Accession Number: 23-029

Collection Number: University Historical Collection 386

Creator: Robinson, Pearl, 1904-1979

Title: Pearl Robinson Papers

Dates: 1917 – 1978

Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (2 archives boxes, 1 flat box)

Location of Collection: B6/4g (Box 1-2), A7/1f (Box 3)

Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Summary: Photographs, letters, diplomas, books, and records of Pearl Robinson, a 1926 Eau Claire State Normal School teaching graduate. Records relate to her education, and during and after World War II her time as an instructor and organizer of Aeronautics courses in Washington D.C. high schools, Before You Fly: Essentials of Aeronautics books she co-authored, Certificate of Merit from the U.S. Navy, and the Trophy Award from the Washington Air Derby Association for her contributions to aviation education in public schools.

Biographical/Historical Note

Pearl Robinson was born on August 19, 1904, in the town of Stanley, Chippewa County, Wisconsin, to Culver and Minnie Hayes Thurber. Culver Ralph Thurber separated from Minnie just a few years after the birth of Pearl and went on to remarry. Pearl maintained a close relationship with her mother until Minnie’s death in 1945. On April 15, 1922, Pearl married her first husband, George R. Ranow, who she described in multiple letters to her mother. She graduated from the Eau Claire State Normal School with a Teacher’s Diploma in Education in 1926. She graduated from George Washington University in 1927 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in History. She then went on to teach at George Washington High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Around 1931, Pearl separated from George Ranow. In 1939 she graduated from George Washington University with a master’s degree in English and a minor in History. It is estimated that she married her second husband Vernon Lee Robinson in the early 1940s, but she separated from him in 1948. Pearl passed away in 1979.

Pearl was an instructor in Aeronautics in Washington D.C. Public Senior High Schools from 1941-1950. During this time, she helped to organize Aviation Courses that would be used all throughout the senior high schools in Washington D.C. She is also the leading author of the books Before You Fly: Essentials of Aeronautics and published many articles for professional magazines. She received the “Certificate of Merit” from the U.S. Navy in recognition of her work with students surrounding model aircrafts during World War II, as well as the Trophy Award from the Washington Air Derby Association for her contributions to aviation education in public schools. Pearl’s love of teaching aviation in public schools extended to flying, in which she had a license to fly planes and owned her own plane.

Content Description

Contents in the collection include university diplomas, professional certificates, letters (primarily between Pearl and her mother and aunt), photographs from her career, a high school yearbook, miscellaneous documents, and three copies of Before You Fly: Essentials of Aeronautics, books she co-authored in 1942-1943. Contents of Box 1 were pulled from and replicate the order of Album 1 as it was when it was donated. Contents of Box 2 were pulled from and replicate the order of Album 2 as it was when it was donated.

Note: Within the collection, Pearl is spelled with and without an “e” on the end (Pearl vs. Pearle). “Pearl” appears on her birth certificate, obituary, personal papers, etc. while “Pearle” tends to appear on more of her professional materials. Her mother also went by two names: Minnie Hayes Thurber and also G. C. Kleckner.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to the Special Collections & Archives, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in May of 2023 by Mike Kneer, nephew of Pearl Robinson.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Most photographs are copyrighted by the photographer. This is shown on the backside of the photographs.
Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright not owned by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Processing Note: Processed by Alexis Casares in October 2023.

Arrangement: Flat arrangement.

OCLC #: 1409624918

Subjects

Personal Names:
Kleckner, G. C.
Kneer, Jeanne Marie
Piper, William T.
Ranow, George R.
Robinson, Pearl Thurber
Robinson, Vernon
Thurber, Cecil Galvery
Thurber, Culver Ralph
Thurber, Minnie Hayes

Corporate Names:
Eau Claire State Normal School
George Washington University
Holcombe High School
Naval Air Reserve
Washington Air Derby Association

Subject Terms:
Aviation
Planes
Teaching
World War II

Geographical Terms:
Chicago, Illinois
Eau Claire, Wis.
Holcombe, Wis.
Stanley, Wis.
Naval Air Reserve Anacostia D.C.
Washington D.C.

Detailed List of Contents

Container

Contents

Dates

Box/Folder

1/1

“The Orange and Black” Stanley High School Yearbook

1917

Box/Folder

1/2

Photographs of the Washington Air Derby Association Trophy

1952

Box/Folder

1/3

Teaching Timeline and Certificates

1951 - 1964

Box/Folder

1/4

Photographs of the Tours of Naval Air Reserve

1948 – 1950s

Box/Folder

1/5

Photographs of Washington Airport Weather Tour

1956

Box/Folder

1/6

Photographs of Planes and Tours

1927

Box/Folder

1/7

Photographs of Teaching and Naval Marine Essay Contest Winners

1949 – 1950

Box/Folder

1/8

Photographs of Students Working on Planes

1947

Box/Folder

1/9

Photographs of Naval Reserve Training Unit

1927

Box/Folder

1/10

Photographs of November Visit and Essay Contest

1949 – 1950

Box/Folder

1/11

Photographs of the visit of William T. Piper

1947

Box/Folder

1/12

Names and Schools Envelopes

1948

Box/Folder

1/13

Photographs of Air Derby Trophy

Various Photographs

1950

Box/Folder

2/1

Cards and Photographs

1923 – 1940

Box/Folder

2/2

Formal Correspondence

Flying Notes

Miscellaneous Records

1946 – 1951, 1964 – 1977

Box/Folder

2/3

Car Records

Lease Agreements

Certificate of Insurance

1962 – 1976

Box/Folder

2/4

Tax Papers

1974 - 1978

Box/Folder

2/5

Letters

1919 – 1925

Box/Folder

2/6

Obituary

Photographs of Funeral

Life Insurance

1979

Box/Folder

2/7

Letters

1950 - 1977

Box 3

Before You Fly Books (3)

1942 – 1943

Box 3

Eau Claire State Normal School Diploma

1926

Box 3

George Washington University Diploma

1927

Box 3

Eau Claire State Normal School One Year License of Teaching

1926

Box 3

George Washington University Masters Diploma

1941