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George Pittman collection on Operation Hi-Ball

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0632

Scope and Contents

The George Pittman collection on Operation Hi Ball contains 8x10 black and white photographs of the event, some planning documents, newspaper clippings, two copies of RIT The University Magazines from 2003 and RIT Reporter issues containing information about Operation Hi-Ball, 35mm slides and a super-8 format film. The 8x10 photographs are random printouts from the 35mm slides and there are 461 35mm slides. The planning documents include office memos, meeting agenda, a timeline for set up and launch, and a flow chart of positions.


  • Creation: 1962


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The collection materials came from Todd Pittman, the son of George Pittman. George Pittman was the project engineer for Operation Hi-Ball and the materials were accumulated by him. Operation Hi-Ball took place in 1962 at RIT's downtown campus. A group of 30 RIT second year photographic science students launched a large balloon with an attached Graflex 35mm automatic camera to take aerial pictures of the Institute. The camera was launched by a 12 foot weather balloon that was purchased for this project. Helium was used to get the balloon aloft. The operation was noted as a failure in many newspaper clippings due to the balloons and cables getting caught in various parts of the RIT Chapel.


2 Box(es) (1 box with files and 1 binder box with slides)




Materials on Operation Hi-Ball at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Operation Hi-Ball took place on RIT's campus downtown in 1962. The collection includes an original super-8 format film of the launch, 35mm slides, 8x10 black and white photos of random printouts from the slides, newspaper clippings, office documents, RIT The University Magazine and a thumb-drive of the scanned slide and an .mp4 digital file of the film.


The collection is arranged by material type. 8x10 black and white photographs, office documents, The University Magazine and newspaper clippings.

Physical Location

C.S. South Shelf 742, Box 1-2

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

George Pittman collection on Operation Hi Ball

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to RIT Archive Collections by Todd Pittman in October 2015.

Accession number(s): 2015:093

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lauren Hubbs in November 2015.

George Pittman collection on Operation Hi Ball
RIT Archives
Lauren Hubbs
28 October 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA