1936 Drawing and Letter by Frank Greenberger
The day my father showed me his childhood design for a military plane marked a turning point in my life.
There were three pages. The first was a standard page of drawing paper with a simple sketch and descriptive text on both sides. The second was a letter on stationary with The Mayfair logo at the top. My father wrote, “Dear Sir. This is an invention of mine that I thought might be useful to you. I live at the Mayfair Hotel in Chicago,” signed “Frank Greenberger.” It was stamped “received November 11, 1936,” a week after his tenth birthday. The last was a typed note on a sheet of letterhead from the Adjunct General’s Office of the War Department in Washington, DC, which read “While your interest is appreciated, the War Department does not desire to undertake work in connection with your proposed invention.”
Being introduced to these documents as a child had an immediate impact on me. I saw I was free to develop ideas and contact anyone I cared to in pursuit of a response, a process that continues to inform my art today.
- David Greenberger