Brewster, Edgar Roy

Production date
Born in 1905, Roy Brewster was known locally as the Bee man.
He began keeping bees at the age of 19, an interest which was to develop over the years; he went on the build a hexagonal house, Norian, in Sanders Ave, known to many as the Beehive House. Brewster believed right angles were alien to harmonious living and worked to eliminate them from his lifestyle.
A fascination with flight and the theories of aerodynamics inspired Brewster to develop drawings and build models of aircraft. He died in March 1978.
The collection consists of correspondence, research notes, drawings, photographs of his aircraft, hexagonal house and his philosophies.
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Object detail

Production date
Item list

  Box 1

Folder 1. Agreement for sale of land in NP 1949. Brewster sells to Ernest Oswald Ledingham.

Folder 2. Lecture notes and essay for thesis(?) Attributed to B Kernot, Dept Anthrop. University of Auckland 1960.

Folder 3. Aerodynamics "About the Aerodynamic Forces of an Aeroplane" (Brewster: undated)

Folder 4. Aerodynamics Magazine extracts

Folder 5. Aerodynamics incomplete Ms. Title page missing

Folder 6. The Aeroplane of Today (Brewster Nov 1938)

Folder 7. The essential Principles of construction that a fully efficient aeroplane must incorporate. Typescript (Brewster undated)

Folder 8. Flight Clippings from magazines and newspapers, some undated.

Folder 9. Clippings from magazines and newspapers, some undated.

Folder 10. Flight Development of theory 1. Sketches, diagrams, drawings and notes relating to Brewster's planes.

Folder 11. Flight Development of theory 2. Sketches, drawings, diagrams and notes relating to Brewster's planes

Folder 12. Flight Development of theory 3. Sketches, drawings, diagrams and notes relating to Brewster's planes.

Folder 13. Flight Development of theory 4. Sketches, drawings, diagrams and notes relating to Brewster's planes.

Folder 14. Flight development of theory 5. Sketches, and notes relating to Brewster's planes.

Folder 15. Flight "Force of Gravity"

Folder 16. Flight Parachute

Magazine articles. All magazines noted below are extracts or clippings of aviation magazines, documenting technology and experimentation. Some have been marked as special interest by Brewster.

Folder 17. Magazines. Popular Science. 1926

Folder 18. Magazines. The Aeroplane. 1936

Folder 19. Magazines. Flight and Aeroplane 1937

Folder 20. Magazines. Undated clippings.

Folder 21. Magazines. Flight and Aeroplane. 1938

Folder 22. Magazines. Flight, Aeroplane & Air Trail. Jan - June 1939

Folder 23. Magazines. Flight & Aeroplane July - Dec 1939

Folder 24. Magazines. Flight and Aeroplane 1940

Folder 25. Magazines. Aeronautics, Flight and Aeroplane. 1941

Folder 26. Magazines. Flight. 1943

Folder 27. Magazines. Aeroplane. 1946

Folder 28. Magazines. Aeroplane. 1951

Folder 29. Magazines. Aeroplane. 1952

Folder 30. Magazines. Reader's Digest, Aeroplane. 1953

Folder 31. Magazines. Aeroplane. 1954

Folder 32. Magazines. Air Classic Quarterly Review. 1976

Folder 33. Magazines. Plane Construction/Materials. Extracts from Flight & Aeroplane. Various years.

Folder 34. Magazines. Construction. Extracts from Flight and Aeroplane. 1937-1938

Folder 35. Handwritten notes on aerodynamics

Folder 36. Patents. Documentation on patents issued for Airfoil lift coefficient varying means. 1939-1943. Includes photocopies.

Folder 37. Patents correspondence from A .J .Park & Sons, Solictors and Patent Attorneys. 1938-1940

Folder 38. Patents correspondence A .J . Park & Sons. 1941-1942

Folder 39. Plane Crash. Comet. 1955-56

Folder 40. Plane Crash. Pago Pago. 1974

Folder 41. Plane Crash. Tenariffe. 1977

Folder 42. Plane Crash.Newspaper and magazine clippings. Various dates.

Folder 43. Thesis. Theory of Flight. 30 June 1937. Ms copy

Folder 44. Thesis. Theory of Flight, June 1937, miscellaneous papers and notes most probably used in the 1937 thesis.

Folder 45. Thesis. Theory of Flight. 13 July 1938, hand written, annotated.

Folder 46. Thesis. Theory of Flight 1938?, (carbon copy)

Folder 47. Thesis. Theory of Flight. Correction copy. Carbon copy with corrections. 1939?

  Box 2

Folder 48. Thesis. Theory of Flight. Miscellaneous papers and notes. Folder 49. Thesis. Theory of Flight. Copy 1, 2, 4 and 5. Typescript. July 1938

Folder 50. Thesis. Theory of Flight : Flight essentially resistance. Draft copy with annotations and corrections.

Folder 51. Thesis. Theory of Flight.Typescript, incomplete, annotated.

Folder 52. Correspondence. Aviation Development Ltd. Nov 1938 - Sept 1941. The firm through which Brewster had to negotiate the British patent. The letters relate to his ''bird model' and includes a reference from W. J. Cleland of New Plymouth who confirms the success of Brewster's invention.

Folder 53. Correspondence. Boeing Airplanes, 1 letter 1966 ; Tainui Trust Board, re purchase of Brewster's Sanders Avenue property. 1962 - 1966 ; Text for Norian Thoughts c1974 ; Boeing Airplanes Co. 1959-1977. Includes photocopies arranged for research purposes by an unidentified researcher.

Folder 54. Correspondence. Boeing Aircraft Corporation. 1959-1977. Includes correspondence (1959) regarding aerodynamics, Brewster's early letters give an insight into how and when his interest in aviation began. In 1966, Brewster writes regarding aircraft stalling in mid flight. These letters are interspersed with 'Norian' philosophies. Ten years later, Brewster renews communication with Boeing. Again his letter relates to philosophy rather than aeronautics.

Folder 55. Correspondence. De Haviland Aircraft Co Ltd. 1954 relating to the Comet Crashes. Also see Folder 39 Plane Crash. Comet.

Folder 56. Correspondence. Dept. of Aeronautics (London) 1939. A copy of a letter to Dr N. A. V. Piercy re the theory of flight. Also see Folder 52 Aviation Devlopment Ltd. which contains correspondence referring to Piercy's possible use of Brewster's concepts. Includes photocopies.

Folder 57. Correspondence. Family. A statement re the estate of Beth Brewster (1st wife) 1941 ; Letter to Brewster (?) from his second wife Nettie. ; Letter to Dad from John. 1959

Folder 58. Correspondence. New Zealand Government Departments 1937 - 1943. Includes Civil Aviation Branch 1937-39; Air Force Headquarters 1940: New Zealand Military Forces Inventions Bd 1941-43: Flight Lieutenant Bell 1941; Dept of Scientific and Industrial Research 1943.

Folder 59. Correspondence. Prime Minister's department. New Zealand Government. Comments on the proposed beehive structure as an addition to Parliament Building Wellington. 1964

Folder 60. Correspondence with McMillan & Fredic Ltd., Stratford 1940. Re the Scott Squirrel engine and other aviation parts from the firm's "flying flea". Items loaned to Brewster for construction of a 'slow landing' speed aeroplane. Includes original agreement and correspondence.

Folder 61. Correspondence. Military Service. Called up for service Sept 1942. Brewster requests to serve in the airforce rather than the army.

Folder 62. Correspondence. 1940 - 1975. Includes a copy of a letter to Professor Leach, Auckland University outlining Brewster's development of his ideas and theories. 194? ; Letter from Taranaki Aviation, Transport and Technology Museum (TATTM) re a Gypsy Major engine. 1975 ; Letter to TATTM re the history of the Flying Flea from Ian McMillan. 1979 ; copy of newspaper obituary for Brewster, 29 March 1978.(acq. 04 Mar 1996)

Folder 63. Correspondence. W. Robinson, Wanganui offers financial assistance to Brewster for the development of honeycomb structured aviation design. 1942

Folder 64. Correspondence. Letters from Todd Motors 1941.

Folder 65. Correspondence. Charles Turner. 1940-41: a statement by Turner introducing himself (Oct 1940). Turner claims to work for the British Government and offers to help Brewster. However there are misunderstandings. Turner is convinced there is a plot and Government agencies are 'obstructionists'. Turner offers to send Brewster to UK with his plane. However this never eventuates. Includes photocopies.

Folder 66. Finance. Inland Revenue presented Brewster with a tax assessment. In return, he furnishes facts and figures relating to his financial, business and family circumstances. 1943 - 53

Folder 67. Genealogy. Family tree compiled 1969. Magazine Parade Dec 1954 annotated reference to William Brewster, one of the 'Pilgrim Fathers'. Typescript. Done with experimenting. Biographical notes.

Folder 68. Honey. Correspondence from National Fruit Distributors; catalogue from Australasian Beekeepers' Supplies (1941); catalogue Alliance Quality Bee Supplies 1938-39; Note-book 'Bee notes' Brewster's beekeeping at Kaponga 1956; advertising/price lists packaging and labels.

Folder 69. Beewise System of Housing. 1953 - 1960. Reports, notes and promotion for the Beewise system for house construction. Includes Norian principles, methodology, costings.

Folder 70. House Construction. Notes, drawings and newspaper clippings and advertising information on construction material and fittings.

Folder 71. House costings. Handwritten notes.

Folder 72. House. Newspaper clippings and brochures on house design and interior fittings.

Folder 73. House. Plans and notes on Beehive house structures.

Folder 74. House. Specifications for experimental house on Sander's Ave. Typescript.

Folder 75. House. Notebook. Housing notes stocktaking 31 March 1954

Folder 76. Miscellaneous clippings and extracts on a wide range of topics.

Folder 77. Philosophy. Church leaflets, including a copy of information about Rev. Colin Brewster, Brownlow Hill Congregational Church, Liverpool. 1890.

Folder 78. Philosophy. Jottings and clippings.

Folder 79. Philosophy. Norian Thoughts 1. A compilation of notes and theories developed during the 1960 and early 1970's. Has been kept in original order as when deposited in the taranaki Museum. Discusses forms of Truth and Energy. Discusses Revelations 14:6 - 8. Many undated notes.

Folder 80. Norian Thoughts 2. Items found in other parts of the collection.

Folder 81. Norian Thoughts 3. One of a limited edition. Written on the reverse of a honey advert/flyer. Has a hand made envelope addressed to the Postmaster General, Wellington. Dated 9/9/1960. Annotated as the author's copy.

Folder 82. Business card for Brewster's Punga Work.

Folder 83. Letterhead for firm of E. R. Brewster.

Folder 84. Photographs. Beekeeping. Includes negatives of Beth and baby at Mangorei ; Still shots from Rudall Hayward film of Norian.

Photographs. Beehive house ; Light fittings,Hamner Springs Hotel (includes letter from S.D. Burns) ; Miscellaneous ; Negatives, assorted - [transfered to Pictorial Collection PHO2015-0163]

Photographs. Planes. Bird model ; Duplicate set of those sent to Boeing ; First power driven model built 1936 - 37, plus various adaptations ; The Flying Flea ; Model demonstrated to Ft Lt Bell at NP 1941, plus modifications to wing and tail ; Planes, other than Brewster's inventions ; Various models and adaptations ; Various wing structures and unidentified constructions ; Vertical take off / paraglider. Model No 1 1934 - 35 ; Model No 2 1935 - 36

Photographs. Plate Glass negatives [transfered to Pictorial Collection PHO2015-0163]

Photographs. Portraits

Photographs. Punga work 1931 - 1940, photos pots and Maori heads created from punga.

Photographs. Shop front, Brewster Brothers,203 Devon st East and rear of shop.

  Box 3

2 Scrapbooks. House and plane designs. Includes a number of loose pages, notes and larger format items

Photographs. Large format photo of punga pot, interior of beehive house and a portrait of E. R. Brewster ; Collection of 6 photos of New Plymouth Boys' High School rugby teams in which Brewster played ; 1 Photo album. Model planes : flight tests

Plans. A number of house plans.

Book. Hexagon House. Outsized mock up for the booklet

Print. Profile of E. R. Brewster (lino print?). Print bears Brewster's head inside a hexagon, inside a circle. (the paper is foxed).

  Digital file

PDF. Aviation album.

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