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Title B.R. Coad Papers
Date 1918-1965
Collection B.R. Coad Papers
Catalog Number MS01
Object Name Manuscript Collection
Extent of Description 2 linear feet; 2 legal document cases, 1 flat box
Creator Coad, B. R., 1890-1966
Admin/Biographical History Bert Raymond Coad, commonly known as "Dr. Coad," was born in southern Illinois on July 4, 1890. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in entomology and did additional work at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University.

Coad joined the U.S. Bureau of Entomology in Dallas, Texas, eventually becoming the head of the Division of Insects Affecting Southern Field Crops stationed at the Delta Laboratory in Tallulah, Louisiana. He worked in Tallulah during the summer, investigating crops such as tobacco, sugar cane, and cotton, as well as mosquito and tick control, and returned to Washington, D.C., during the winter.

The Tallulah station was made the chief base for cotton insect investigation in 1914 as the boll weevil began devastating crops across the country. In 1916, Coad and his colleagues discovered that calcium arsenate reduced the infestation and tried different application methods.

Inspired by experiments conducted in Ohio of dusting by airplane, Coad convinced Congress to fund the use of aircraft and pilots from the Army Air Service to test agricultural aviation in 1922. During this work, Coad became acquainted with C. E. Woolman of the Louisiana farm extension service, an aviation enthusiast and later principal founder and first CEO of Delta Air Lines.

Results of aerial dusting tests in Tallulah, proved that commercial crop-dusting was viable. In 1924, Huff Daland Aircraft Company of Ogdensburg, New York, in consultation with Coad and his team, began manufacturing the first airplane designed specifically for crop-dusting.

To market and offer dusting services directly to farmers, the company created a crop-dusting subsidiary named Huff Daland Dusters, Inc. based in Macon, Georgia. The first year was disappointing, but with Coad's encouragement, operation moved in 1925 to Monroe, Louisiana, and the business took off.

Huff Daland Dusters was purchased by general manager Woolman (he joined in 1925) and a group of local investors in 1928, and renamed Delta Air Service. Delta began passenger service in 1929, but continued crop-dusting until 1966. Coad joined Delta in 1931, serving as chief entomologist and head of Delta's Dusting Division, based in Monroe, Louisiana, until his death in February 1966.

Coad was married to Carolyn Cason Coad and had four children: Hunter Coad, Stanley Coad, Mrs. Ralph Rich, and Mrs. Jack Reynolds.
Scope & Content Personal papers of B.R. Coad, including photocopied newspaper clippings, business cards, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and published entomology reports and bulletins.

The clippings provide biographical information on Coad, as well as the history of crop dusting and Delta Air Lines. There are also articles from Peruvian newspapers in Spanish language.

The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1939-1949, and includes correspondence with cotton growers in the Canete Valley, Peru, where Coad did freelance consulting work to assist hacienda owners with their crop infestations. There is also correspondence with B. R. Webster of the Chipman Chemical Company and Ralph R. Root, who sold dusting equipment, advising them in expanding sales into Peru. There is correspondence with C.E. Woolman, principal founder of Delta, who was Delta's general manager at the time.

A folder of miscellaneous items contains Coad's business cards from Delta Air Corporation, as well as business cards from Peruvian contacts, and a bound travel map of South America.

The seven notebooks date from the 1940s and contain insect/insecticide information for the Canete Valley cotton growers in Peru; contact information for people in Peru and the U.S.; Coad's IRS payments; and a calendar issued by W.R. Grace & Co. in Lima, Peru, with whom Coad worked to import insecticides for his consultations.

The published entomology reports and bulletins consist of publications issued by the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture on cotton crops and insects (in Spanish language); a Peruvian report translated into English; and two drafts and a final report written by Coad on the cotton crop, insects, and suggested treatments for the Canete Valley in Peru.

The loose photographs include images of U.S. Army Air Corps aircraft and pilots; Mexico; a fishing trip to the Florida Everglades; and miscellaneous personal photographs featuring Coad.

The scrapbook holds a Pan American 1940 menu, Flying Clipper postcard and Jupiter Rex certificate for crossing the equator from flights to Peru. The remainder of the scrapbook holds small black and white photographs from one or more visits to the Canete Valley, Peru, with captions in Spanish language.
System of arrangement The arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order. Arranged into six series:
1. Clippings, 1924-1962
2. Correspondence, 1939-1965
3. Miscellaneous items, 1934-ca. 1940s
4. Notebooks, n.d. and 1949
5. Published reports and bulletins, 1939-1949
6. Photographs and scrapbook, 1918-1940s
Access Conditions Contact the Delta Flight Museum for information about accessing this collection:
Delta Flight Museum
1060 Delta Blvd, Dept 914
Atlanta, GA, 30354
Language of Material English (eng), Spanish (spa)
Finding Aids Container list is available.
Credit line Delta Air Lines
Accruals No further accruals are expected.
People Coad, Bert Raymond, 1890-1966
Woolman, Collett Everman, 1889-1966
Archivist's Notes Preservation photocopies made of newspaper clippings; originals not retained.

Collection processed by Anne Graham, 2005.
Search Terms Delta Agricultural Division
Delta Air Corporation
Delta Air Lines
Huff Daland Dusters, Inc.
Huff-Daland Airplanes, Inc.
Huff-Daland Duster
Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
United States Army Air Corps
Monroe, La.
Latin America
Subjects Aerial dusting in agriculture
Crop dusting
Relation Show Related Records...