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Ronald Day Collection

 Collection — Object: 1
Identifier: L053-98

Scope and Content

This collection contains images, framed items, models, toys, coins, pins, ephemera, dinnerware, and other formats of artifacts in different sizes relating to Lighter-than-Air. The Ronald Day Collection is housed in ten boxes of various sizes totaling 35.58 linear ft.

The collection arrived in fair condition. The processing archivist imposed order and identified five series with the first being the Christmas Ornaments Series, which consists of objects manufactured by the Old World Christmas company in the shape of Zeppelins and a wooden nutcracker holding a Zeppelin.

The second series is the Models and Toys Series containing heavy cast iron, diecast, aluminum, plastic, or a combination thereof of models and windup toys in the shape of Zeppelins or blimps, some of which were manufactured by TootsieToy or by Schylling.

The third series is the Dinnerware Series comprising fine china, tableware, cruet set, and saltshaker. Of particular interest is the menu holder in Box 5, Object 5, which was part of the props in the "No Ticket" scene set on the Hindenburg of the feature film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The fourth series is the Framed Objects Series featuring posters, enamel advertisement sign, stamps, trading card, images, wreath, Valentine's card, ice cream mold, parts of an Argentine fruit box, and coin.

The fifth series is the Other Formats Series including iron cast or die cast models, lamp, coat of arms, commemorative coins, beer stein, light bulbs, eraser, key chain, pencil sharpener, stick pins, themed pins, lapel pins, charms, cigarette cards, trading card game, ashtray, wooden propeller blade from German naval airship L 42, and postcards.


  • 1911 - 1998
  • Majority of material found within 1920 - 1938


Language of Materials

Collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

Ronald Day, a native from Atlanta, GA, nurtured a lifelong passion for aerostats and in particular for airships, such as Zeppelins. Fascinated by the amenity of this type of air travel, Day collected many objects representing the era of dirigibles.

Ronald Day passed away in Fall of 1998.


Biddenstadt, F. W., "Day Lighter-than-Air Collection Received," "Air-Log," January 1999, The University of Texas at Dallas, page 3


35.58 Linear Feet (Three video storage boxes (8.5 x 17.5 x 5), three photo album boxes (18 x 13 x 5), three memorabilia boxes (12.5 x 19 x 2), one non-standard box (25 x 19 x 1.5), and thirty objects.)


Ronald Day was an avid collector of objects dealing with aerostats and in particular with airships, such as Zeppelins.

Series Description

The Ronald Day Collection is arranged in five series:

Series I. Christmas Ornaments 1.4 linear ft. (two video storage boxes), circa 1920-1993.

Arranged by topic.

Series II. Models and Toys 6.7 linear ft. (two photo album boxes, two items in photo album box, six items in memorabilia box, and four objects), Circa 1920-1991.

Arranged by topic.

Series III. Dinner Ware 3.78 linear ft. (four items in photo album box, one item in memorabilia box, and three objects), Circa 1920-1935.

Arranged by topic.

Series IV. Framed Objects 6.2 linear ft. (thirteen objects), 1928-1938.

Arranged by topic.

Series V. Other Formats 14.8 linear ft. (one video storage box, two memorabilia boxes, one non-standard box, three items in photo album box, eight items in memorabilia box, and ten objects), 1924-1998.

Arranged by topic.

Provenance Statement

The Ronald Day Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Ronald Day on 1998-08-21.

Additional Sources

For the No Ticket scene set on the Hindenburg of the feature film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade view

More information about Lighter-than-Air can be found in the Charles E. Rosendahl Collection, the Douglas Robinson Collection, and the John Provan Collection among others.

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and catalogued to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine stacks.

Note to the Researcher

Some of the models are rusted but still stable and in fair condition. Box 8, Object 1 Good Year Eau de Cologne bottle: some pieces broke off and are stored in an envelope.

Guide to the Ronald Day Collection, -1998
Patrizia Nava, CA.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2009-04-27. Second revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2016-10-10. Third revision by Patrizia Nava, CA, 2020-09-10. Fourth revision by Patrizia Nava, CA, 2021-04-15.

Revision Statements

  • 2009-04-27: 1st revision by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2016-10-10: 2nd revision was a conversion into Archivists' Toolkit by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2020-09-10: 3rd revision was an update of the EAD location by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2021-04-15: 4th revision was an integration of previously unaccounted for display items by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

3020 Waterview Pkwy
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US