[Audio recording of William P. Lear discussing his life story (Part 3 of 3)]



[Audio recording of William P. Lear discussing his life story (Part 3 of 3)]


Audio recording of William P. Lear discussing his life story, Geneva, Switzerland, circa 1960s. Part 3 of 3.

Handwritten label on reel: "Tape 3 and 4 - 7-62. Digital preservation 7-27-99. Bio 30-40s. AIFF-Format. WPL audio."

Inscription on back of box: "'Re-housed.' [several crossed out notes]."


These audio recordings contain a three-part oral history of William P. Lear, recorded at the Lear home in Geneva, Switzerland, circa 1960s. In Part Three, Lear continues to discuss his engineering career, focusing predominantly on his time in New York during the 1930s. He also briefly describes a manufacturing contract during World War II. Topics covered include Lear’s work in developing radio equipment and direction finders; his business deals with RCA, the U.S. military, and others; and his rivalry with the Bendix Company. He also touches on details in his personal life, such as his marriages and courtships, his memories of Irving Johnson, and a story about a crash landing in a Georgia swamp.

Lear’s wife, Moya, is present during the recording and occasionally interjects with clarifying remarks or additional questions. Other speakers are also sometimes heard in the background, including at least one of the Lear children.

Table Of Contents

Navigation race in Florida, continued from Part Two -- Experiences in New York as a radio engineer -- Rivalry with the Bendix Company -- Memories of Irving Johnson -- Direction finder development; business experiences with the U.S. Army Air Corps -- Patent battle with RCA; move to Roosevelt Field (New York) -- Details about Lear’s personal life -- Crash landing in Georgia swamp


1960s circa


1 sound reel (2 hr., 24 min., 26 sec.) : analog ; 1/4 in


Bibliographic Citation

The William P. and Moya Olsen Lear Papers/The Museum of Flight