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Chesterfield H. Janes papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 301

Scope and Contents

The Chesterfield H. Janes papers (1953-2012; .95 cubic feet) document the life of Janes as a Purdue student and as an IBM employee.  Included within this collection are items from Janes stay in the X-Hall (presently called Meredith Hall), some memorabilia of the NASA astronauts, a collection of space related stamps and first day covers, and photographs of the Apollo-Saturn 202 (AS-202) launch.  Strengths in this collection are the X-Hall ephemeral materials.  Included are receipts from the housing contract and receipts from the Excalibur Club.  Another strength in this collection is the amount of space related stamps and photos of the AS-202 launch. The items in this collection could help those researchers with an interest in stamps, the AS-202 launch, or Purdue student life in the 1950s.  Types of material include memorabilia, printed material, photographs, stamps, corduroy pants (cords), slide rule, tie-tacks, a button, and an Apollo 11 medal. The Chesterfield H. Janes papers are organized into 2 series: Purdue Student Memorabilia, and Professional Career – Printed Material and Memorabilia.


  • 1953-2012
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1953-1975
  • Other: Date acquired: 06/04/2015


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University per deed of gift

Biographical / Historical

Chesterfield Howell Janes was born on November 16, 1934 in Gainesville, Florida. Janes lived in Gainesville until 1946 when his parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Melrose, Florida. He finished high school in Melrose in 1953 and applied to Purdue University. Janes lived in the “X-Dorm,” now Meredith Hall, and was a brother in Theta Chi fraternity, a member of the Amateur Rocket Society, a member of the Canterbury Club, and IAS. Janes graduated from Purdue in June of 1957 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

After graduation, Janes took a job with General Dynamics as an Engineer in their mechanical lab and also worked on ground support for the Atlas rockets in Florida. In 1961, General Dynamics transferred Janes to the Atlas-Centaur launch pad which would be responsible for launching the United States’ first lunar probe, Surveyor-1. Janes’ unique position in the Atlas program was assembling the rockets. He was responsible for putting the stages together and the payloads. One of Janes’ proudest moments is when he, and another engineer, got to place the Surveyor-1 spacecraft into the nose cone of the Atlas-Centaur rocket.

In 1966, Janes applied to IBM and was accepted as the Engineer in charge of second shift. IBM awarded Janes the Manned Flight Awareness Award in 1966 and took him and his wife to Houston, Texas where he was a VIP for the Apollo-Saturn 202 launch. While at this launch, he met fellow Purdue graduates, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee, who he was a classmate of at Purdue. While at IBM, Janes was the Mechanical Systems Manager during Apollo 11 and was in the firing room during the launch. Janes worked on the Saturn I, Saturn I-B, and the Saturn V rockets during his career at IBM. In 1993 Janes retired from IBM and took a job as a Quality Engineer at Homelite Corporation. Janes retired in April of 2009.


Janes, Chesterfield H. Interview with Tracy Grimm. 29 November 2012.

Downing, Jody. Purdue University Debris. Vol. 70. Indianapolis: Central Publishing Company, 1957. Print.


0.95 Cubic Feet

1 mss box and 1 flat box other_unmapped


Apollo era printed materials, artifacts, and photographs related to Janes’ professional career at IBM and also printed materials and artifacts from his student life at Purdue University.

Arrangement Note

The Chesterfield H. Janes papers are organized into 2 series: Purdue Student Memorabilia, and Professional Career – Printed Material and Memorabilia.

Series 1. Purdue Student Memorabilia, 1953-2007 (.5 cubic feet). This series includes ephemeral items such as class scheduling cards, test cards, housing contracts, student handbook, and receipts from the X-Hall Excalibur Club. The two sub-series for this series are Printed Materials and Artifacts. In the Artifacts sub-series, there are a things related to Janes’ life as a student including his senior corduroy pants, fabric from the goal post of a Purdue-Michigan State football game, and his slide rule. Materials in the series are arranged based on their type. Printed materials are in the first sub-series and artifacts are in the second.

Series 2. Professional Career – Printed Material and Memorabilia, 1953-2012 (.45 cubic feet). This series includes materials from Janes’ professional career at IBM and is arranged into three sub-series. These sub-series are Professional Career Printed Material, Artifacts, and Photographs. Within this series, there are printed materials about the NASA space programs, a poster featuring all Apollo astronauts, a framed, signed portrait of Allan Shepard, space stamps, first day covers, and a plaque featuring the IBM employees whose pictures are on the Moon.

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Chesterfield H. Janes on April 18, 2014; September 13, 2013; November 29, 2012

Accruals and Additions

20140418, 20130913, 20121129

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Processing Information

The photographs in Series 2, Sub-Series 3 were in a blue photo album that said “Manned Flight Awareness. Top Award Winner. Chesterfield H. Janes, JR. IBM Cape Kennedy.”  The photos have been removed from this album and placed into archival sleeves.  The cover of the album has been photocopied.
Chesterfield H. Janes papers
In Progress
Max Campbell, 2015; Revised by Mary A. Sego, August 17, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States