George Edward Pendray

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George Edward Pendray
G E Pendray.jpg
G.E. Pendray with rocket fueling device
Born (1901-05-19)May 19, 1901
Omaha, Nebraska
Died September 15, 1987 (1987-09-16) (aged 86)
Cranbury, New Jersey
Occupation public relations counsel, author, rocketeer, business executive
Known for public relations, "time capsule"
Spouse(s) Leatrice M. Gregory
Parent(s) John Hall Pendray / Louisa (Wolfe)
Westinghouse "time capsule"

George Edward Pendray (19 May 1901 in Omaha, Nebraska – 15 September 1987 in Cranbury, New Jersey) was an American public relations counselor, author, foundation executive, and an early advocate of rockets and spaceflight.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pendray was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to John Hall Pendray and his wife, Louisa Wolfe.[2] He grew up in Niobrara County, Wyoming.[1][2] and attended the University of Wyoming, graduating in 1924. He then went to Columbia University, where he received his Master of Arts degree in 1925.[1] Two years later, he married Leatrice M. Gregory. They had three daughters: Guenever, Elaine, and Lynette.[2]

Middle life[edit]

Pendray became an editor at the New York Herald-Tribune after completing his graduate work at Columbia University. He remained at the Tribune for seven years. A science fiction enthusiast, he applied that interest as a science editor for Literary Digest from 1932 to 1936 .[1][2] He was next hired at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company as assistant to the president. One of his responsibilities was public relations in advance of the 1939 New York World's Fair. He created what he called a "time capsule", to preserve everyday items in a sealed container for future historians.[1][3] Pendray also created the word laundromat for Westinghouse.[4]


Pendray's primary employment was in public relations; however, he always was interested in rocketry. He was an early experimenter with liquid propulsion rockets. Pendray was a contemporary of Robert H. Goddard, whose papers he later edited with Goddard's widow. Pendray and his associates worked on the beginnings of rocket development and technology, which led to his co-founding of the American Interplanetary Society [which was renamed the American Rocket Society (ARS)] in 1930.[1] This organization is now the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and awards the "G. Edward Pendray Award" in recognition of his achievements.[1]

Later life[edit]

Pendray helped develop the Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center at the California Institute of Technology and the Guggenheim Laboratories at Princeton University. He also assisted in developing the Guggenheim Institute of Flight Structures at Columbia University. In 1958 he was a consultant to the Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration of the United States House of Representatives. Pendray helped in the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

His first wife died of cancer 1971.[1] He married Annice D. Crema the following year.[2]

A resident of Jamesburg, New Jersey, Pendray died in Cranbury, New Jersey in 1987 at the age of 86.[2][5]




"Gawain Edwards" as depicted in Wonder Stories in 1931

Pendray sometimes used the pen name "Gawain Edwards"; however, he usually wrote under his own name. He wrote articles and fiction for many magazines. Amazing Stories praised "Edwards'" The Earth Tube as "vividly and plausibly written," recommending it "to all lovers of scientific fiction".[6]

  • The Earth Tube, 1929
  • A Rescue From Jupiter, 1932
  • Men, Mirrors and Stars, 1935
  • Book of Record of the Time Capsule, 1938
  • City Noise, 1940; with Esther Goddard
  • The Coming Age of Rocket Power, 1945
  • Rocket Development 1948; co-editors Robert Goddard and Esther Goddard.
  • The Guggenheim Medalists, 1964
  • The Papers of Robert H. Goddard, 3 volumes, 1970; co-edited with Esther Goddard.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Princeton University Library - G. Edward Pendray Papers, 1829-1981 (bulk 1923-1971)". Archived from the original on 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Who Was Who in America, Vol 9
  3. ^ New York Times, August 19, 1938, page 21
  4. ^ Livermore, Beth (1999). "The Way We Are - time capsules - Brief Article". Natural History. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  5. ^ Neuffer, Elizabeth. "G. E. PENDRAY, 86, ROCKET PROPONENT", The New York Times, September 20, 1987. Accessed January 30, 2013. "G. Edward Pendray, a proponent of the peaceful uses of rocket power and space flight since the 1930's, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Tuesday. He was 86 years old and lived in Jamesburg, N.J."
  6. ^ "In The Realm of Books", Amazing Stories, December 1929, p.862


  • Who Was Who in America, Vol. 9 (1985–1989), p. 280. Chicago: Marquis, "Pendray, George Edward"
  • New York Times Biographical Service, September 1987, p. 958
  • Contemporary Authors, vol. 123 (1988), p. 299
  • Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 919-920
  • Collier's magazine, September 7, 1946, p. 89

External links[edit]