Collins Aerospace Museum

Friends of the Museum:

Collins Aerospace
Early History:
 by: Arlo Goodyear
 –The Collins Story
 by: Ben Stearns
 –Echo Hill Story
 by: Nancy Zook
 –The Iowan Magazine
 by: Ed Marriner
 –CQ Magazine

Our Founder:

Friends of the Collins Aerospace Museum volunteers have been chartered to preserve the history and legacy of the Collins Radio Company and Collins Aerospace.
Museum Tours
Interested in a tour? click here

This Month in History - January
January 1st, 1932
 –91 years ago.
Arthur’s first advertisement appeared in the nationally reorganized magazine QST.
His early company, Radio Laboratories, Inc. W9CXX, noted three transmitter types were available.

A Note To Our Readers...
If you are searching for more information about our founder, Arthur Collins, take a look at the Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association’s web page.
Click HERE to give it a read.

Public Inquiry
The Collins Aerospace Museum is always looking for interesting artifacts to add to its collection.

Is your basement presently harboring a mysterious piece of electronics, perhaps an engineering model of an early product?
Did a family member ask you to store a black box saying, "Keep this - someday it may be of interest to a Museum?"
If so, contact our Museum Curator, Mike Hynek with a description of your treasure. Send an email here.

Collecting Stories
Behind the Scene at Rockwell Collins
We have begun an effort to capture all of those interesting company-related stories that you’ve been telling each other - but haven’t written down yet.
Terry Lamb has stepped up and entered the first one. Thanks Terry!
Click the link at the bottom of this story to find the stories page. If you wish, you can get started on your story by selecting "0n-line" or "Down-load a Form".
If you choose on-line, you will be able to review and re-edit your input.
Remember, your story will be reviewed by our editor before it will appear in the collection.
Read Stories

Collins Radio Company Records
Many of the early Collins Radio Company records are stored at the University of Iowa Special Collections & University Archives.
Visit the U of I Archives

Missing Publication Issues
Interested in Helping?
Here are lists of missing issues for:
Collins Column - We have every issue published.
Collins Signal - We got 'em all.
Collins Pulse
Rockwell Pride - There must be a bunch missing...
Rockwell News
Rockwell Vision - We think we have all five.
Collins Personnel Services - We have all but October 1976.
Rockwell Collins Millennium - We have the complete set.
Rockwell Collins Horizons - We got 'em all.

Rockwell News Issues
Good News! We're finally getting around to processing issues of Rockwell News.
This magazine is of interest to some of us younger folk, in that it was published during our early days at the company.

Take a Look and read a few from "Issues".
Lookup names etc. using "Search".

The most popular feature of our magazine pages is the name and topic look-up tools ... which we will complete as we get time.

New Magazine Feature
Search All Magazines...
We have added a new tool for searching the Magazine collection.
Now you can search ALL issues, of ALL magazines, from one page!
Go there and give it a try.

Included are: Eight publications, consisting of 476 Issues, containing around 7,025 pages. There are over 77,841 Indexing Entries to search from.

Horizons Magazine On-line
We've uploaded all sixty-three issues...
One of the most interesting and colorful company-produced magazine was Rockwell Collins Horizons.
From 2001, to the last issue in 2015, we have all enjoyed perusing this informative publication.
Every issue was loaded with engaging articles for Rockwell Collins employees and their families.
Dive in and read a few.

Gordon Fabian, our indexer, has processed the first twelve issues - listing Events & Places, Equipment, and Names.
For this publication, he has entered all of the names on the "Anniversaries" pages.

Click here to do research.

Signed Brick Found
Arthur Collins - 1942
Arthur’s autographed brick found during renovation of the Main Plant near location of his old office.
click to read the article at KCRG-TV9’s web site.
This artifact is now in the Museum!

Collins Personnel Services
News from the mid 1970’s
Just uploaded - 17 issues of the company’s publication, Collins Personnel Services.
This one followed Collins Pulse and featured local news about clubs, sports leagues, and employee activities.
Take a look. HERE.

★ Almost Complete ★
We just added seven of the ’EXTRA’ versions of Pulse. take a look
Retiree, Gordy Fabian has been Indexing the collection. Make a test search yourself on the Research page.

Rockwell Vision
issues have been indexed...
Retiree, Gordy Fabian, found a little spare time and Indexed the three issues we have of Rockwell Vision. Make a test search yourself on the Research page.

History of the Dallas Division
Compiled by retiree, John Estill, this document presents a brief history of our Dallas Division’s beginning in 1951 - under the Collins Radio Co. and continuing to today’s operations as Collins Aerospace.
It is a large file so give it a moment to load…
click to read

Issues of PRIDE Magazine
In an effort to complete the collection of published Rockwell Collins magazines, we are seeking donations of any issues of the Rockwell PRIDE Magazine published in the 1960’s-1980’s. We currently have only a single issue and thus do not know the extent of it’s publication dates. If you have any issues of PRIDE that you would like to donate, please contact Rod Blocksome.
Send Email to
take a look!

Bond Traveled in Style
This image submitted by retiree, Gene Dooley - a frame captured from the United Artists’ movie Goldfinger.
Lawrence is thinking the VHF Comm antenna is a 37R-2.
The aircraft is a Lockheed JetStar L-329.
In the Fall 1959 issue of Collins Signal a $1 million contract was noted with Lockheed to outfit their new JetStar - the "first business jet aircraft".
More ’cameos’ at the ArthurCollins.Org site.

Collins History
1971 Film, Narrated by Rod Sterling
Recently posted by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI), this 20-minute film contributed by Don Stokes, is an interesting reminder of the breadth of diversification the Collins Radio Co. and Collins under Rockwell International had achieved by 1971.
Rockwell Collins employees of today will be interested in the number of products our fore-bearers built this company upon.

Don Stokes is a Dallas area film producer and member of the Dallas Film Society.
Watch the film...

Collins Column Issues
We have completed the upload of all 138 issues of Collins Column to our web site.
The Collins Column was first published in May 1943 primarily as a communications vehicle for employees serving in the armed forces. The magazine was published monthly through April 1947. It resumed publication again in August 1950 and continued through July 1957.
take a look Collins Column Magazines.

Collins Signal Issues
We have completed the upload of all seventy issues of Collins Signal to our web site.
These publications represent a wealth of information about the history of our company’s growth and the products we were producing - starting from the 1930’s.
take a look

A Bit of Collins History in Anamosa
You might find this 1957 "Eurovision" film about "Small Town, U.S.A. - Anamosa, Iowa" interesting.
There is a short segment about the Collins facility in Anamosa - about ten minutes into the film. The film was produced by the United States Information Service.
watch the video...

History CoP Presentation for November
The Collins Years
Presented by Jim Shanklin who separated his presentation into three eras: Arthur’s family and background, pre WWII Amateur Radio equipment and business development, and the post WWII products.
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for February
Echo Hill and Feather Ridge, presented by: Dave Hodgin, Jim Shanklin, and Rod Blocksome.
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for September
Collins’ Role in Space Communications
Presented by Jim Shanklin - who was there to witness the day-to-day management of this huge Collins Radio Co. project.
Jim’s presentation is loaded with detail about almost every box, test rack, and antenna we produced for the programs.
Even today, we are proud to say, "Every voice from space was transmitted through a Collins Radio."
view the presentation

The First Ten Years
A YouTube Video by: Gary Halverson
A 22-minute overview of the first ten years of Collins Radio. Introduces Art Collins, the radio landscape of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, then reviews five pre-war Collins transmitters.
Produced by WA9MZU (now K6GLH) in 1998 for the Collins Collectors Association Convention in Dallas as part of J.B. Jenkins’, W5EU, presentation on the early history of Collins Radio.
watch the video...

History CoP Presentation for March
The Fab 50s - Innovations Galore
Rockwell Collins Museum Curator, Lawrence Robinson presented part one of his slide show on the "Fabulous Fifties". In this installment, he introduced to the CoP’s 135+ attendees, a dozen or so of the company’s most innovative employees and several of their ground-breaking creations. He brought with him a number of artifacts from the Museum.
view the presentation

History CoP Presentation for January
"America's Leading Antenna Engineer"
Retired employee, James Shanklin, made an excellent presentation on his father‘s career here at Rockwell Collins as the Lead Antenna Engineer. John Pack Shanklin joined the Collins Radio Co. in 1947 and worked here until his untimely death in 1956.
view the presentation


Whew ... It has been a while since we have been able to welcome visitors to the Museum.
We are again open for guided tours - every Wednesday from 11:30 to 1 o'clock.
Non-employees can arrange a tour by contacting Becky Woodward via an email to

We're thinking you might enjoy a short Trivia Quiz...
Our first one features our founder, Arthur Collins, with questions pertaining to his life before, and after founding, the Collins Radio Company.
Give it a try.

It’s time to fire up the Way Back Machine and take another trip down memory lane… Back when the Inventory Disposal Store had cool stuff for sale.
How many store locations do you remember?
Click Here to reminisce a little

The Beechcraft StarShip
Larry Pinkston, and myself, have begun the restoration of the Museum’s StarShip Avionics System.
We have gotten past the initial power application tests - with just enough smoke to remind passers-by that Engineers are at work.
At this writing, about half of the instruments are working - but are only displaying static screens.
In a few months we hope to have a new artifact to show during Museum tours - maybe like the photo above.

150B Transmitter
Back in the Museum
Retiree and Friend of the Museum, Larry Pinkston, has completed a special project to restore a Collins 150B Transmitter.
We have reason to believe that this unit was Arthur Collins’ prototype for the 150A/B product line.
We have created a BLOG-like page to follow his progress.
Read it here.

Larry Pinkston –Conservator

Tail Fin Art
The folks at Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA are using select dignitaries to decorate their fleet. This Boeing 787 DreamLiner notes our founder as an “American Radio Communications Pioneer”.
I placed a short article over at the AACLA site …under “News”.

New Artifact
"Mint Condition" 30FX
This 1934 30FX Transmitter was owned and operated by J.B. Jenkins (W5EU), retired Collins Radio Engineer from the Richardson, TX facility.
J.B. passed away on September 20, 2017 and specified that this part of his collection be gifted to the Collins Aerospace Museum by his son-in-law Mark Reel.

Mike and Rod welcome the new Artifact.

read more about the 30FX.

History behind our Museum’s 30W
In 1965, CQ Magazine published an article, set in Summer 1932, about a ham radio operator visiting Arthur Collins’ Radio Factory to, potentially, purchase a new 30W transmitter.
You probably guessed, the story is describing the provenance of our Museum’s oldest artifact - possibly one of Arthur’s first 30W sales.
read the article.

Passenger Entertainment
back in the 40’s
Friend of the Museum, Steve Black, found an early Collins Radio Co. advertisement that reminded him of how we were ’always a little ahead of our time’.
see what he wrote.

While rummaging through one of our back rooms, I discovered this copy of The Iowan Magazine …the one with the "Collins and the Electronic Beanstalk" article that was mentioned in the 50th anniversary book.
read the article.

1936 Employee Roster
Arthur’s company started pretty small. Is any of your loved-ones listed here?
view the list.

Young Arthur’s Ham Shack
Ever wonder who Arthur was QSOing with back in 1925 as a young amateur radio operator?
How about them QSLs on his ham shack wall?
Take a look at this page where we make our best attempt to identify the owners of the Call Signs.

Collins Farms Company Bulletin
A Clue to Arthur’s Success
We have just uploaded a copy of the 1930 Collins Farms Company Bulletin. Excerpts from this document have appeared in Ben Stearns’ book: Arthur Collins Radio Wizard and in our anniversary publication: The First 50 Years.
Here is your chance to read the entire document.

Merle Collins, and his farming company, were waaaay ahead of their time!

233D Transmitter Restoration
Jim’s Crew at Work ...?
Follow our BLOG as we transcend from: ’Unit-Received’ to ’Torn-Into-A-Million-Pieces’ to ’Put-All-Back-Together-Again’.
read the blog

ART-13 Autototune® Demo
Collins Aerospace Museum Club member, Julius Yoder, has recently donated an ART-13 Autotune® demonstration unit to the Museum. This unit is a fully operational lower section of the famous ART-13 transmitter. The WWII-era product, built by the Collins Radio Co., featured a state-of-the-art (at the time) 10-channel five-station automatic re-tuning system.
This wonderful addition to the Museum will make it very easy for us Tour Guides to describe the operation of the ART-13. Thanks Julius!
While serving in the Air Force, Julius performed maintenance on the ART-13, including the mechanisms in the demonstration unit. As an Amateur Radio Operator, he has been collecting ART-13 spare parts and notes that, “Someday he wishes to put one of these little babes back on the air.”
Julius was also responsible for rebuilding, among other components, the fully functional radio operator’s station for “FIFI” - the last flying B-29 bomber.