IGOR SIKORSKY. Russian-born American aeronautical engineer, Igor Sikorsky; developed the helicopter.
A collection of two contracts and five typewritten letters signed, as well as five documents and 26 letters, typewritten and carbon copies of letters, memos and financial papers, all concerning the publication of his book, The Story of the Winged-S, and its revised editions, legal folio and quarto, 1936 – 1973.
The correspondence is with his publisher, Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc. Fine condition. The original Document Signed, May 13, 1936, between Igor Sikorsky and Dodd, Mead & Company for the publication of The Story of the Winged-S, tentatively entitled Reminiscences at the time the agreement was written.
The second Document Signed, in the form of a carbon copy of a typewritten letter, April 16, 1958, is an agreement that Sikorsky Aircraft Company will purchase 2000 copies of a new edition of the Winged-S for which “no royalty will be paid you”, and that a ten percent royalty or 40 cents will be paid for the trade copies.
The Typewritten Letters Signed reflect on details regarding revisions and royalties for new editions of the book. September 3, 1941: “…I would like to see the book continued in print…[and] to guarantee the purchase of 300 copies within the next six months, from the time the book becomes available, at a price of $1.80 net each, and to exempt the first 1000 copies from royalty payment…. I fully agree…it would be desirable to add a chapter on our helicopter and to illustrate it with two or three photographs….” [Sikorsky’s letter was written in response to Dodd’s inquiry about a new edition; and in a later letter, Dodd is “delighted” with Sikorsky’s consensus on the new edition and proceeds “with the manufacture of the book at once, so that we may fill your orders…during the fall and Christmas season”.] September 5, 1941: “…I feel that 300 copies of the book would be somewhat more than what I can expect to dispose of. I hope it will be possible to reduce this number to 200 copies….” [Dodd agrees to Sikorsky’s request, confirming that the 200 copies, purchased at a discount of 40%, will be billed “immediately on completion of the new edition”.] September 12, 1941: “…I am glad to confirm…that I am willing to purchase two hundred…copies…. I have already started the work on the chapter on the helicopter and hope to have it in your hands…with the photographs, within three weeks.”April 22, 1948: “I am glad that you have decided to reprint…THE WINGED-S, and I am willing to accept the royalty conditions which you mentioned. I would like to place an order for 100 copies…and…will [probably] have need for another hundred…during 1949. I will start work immediately and hope to have the material and a few photographs in your hands by the middle or the end of May.” [Igor Sikorsky’s reply was a reaction to Dodd’s citing of slow sales which called for “a special royalty” of $100 for the 500 copies to be printed.] December 7, 1951: “Please accept my apologies for the delay in my reply…caused partly…by my desire to give further thought to…the possible revisions…. I believe it may be simpler not to add the extra chapter as I had planned. Consequently, instead of corrections, we may add just one single page which would represent a certain important citation, plus two or four illustrations. Thus the book would be left essentially in its present condition and the cost of corrections would be eliminated…. I would be glad to purchase 200 copies…at a net price of $21.6…[and] to omit the royalty on this first 200 copies….” [Dodd’s letter which had prompted Sikorsky’s response noted that “you buy at least half of the copies that we sell and that the yearly sale is just about 100 copies, and evidently the ‘trade sale’ is scarcely sufficient to warrant investing in a new printing….”]
The other documents include the English contract for The Story of the Winged-S, March 30, 1939, the contract for the Dutch edition, March 7, 1956, and copyright registrations. The remaining correspondence pertain to the editing of the original manuscript, to revised editions of the book, and to an estate valuation for Igor Sikorsky.
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