George Edward Pendray
|Died||September 15, 1987 (aged 86)|
|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)|
George Edward Pendray (May 19, 1901 – September 15, 1987) was an American public relations counselor, author, foundation executive, and an early advocate of rockets and spaceflight. He was associated with Robert H. Goddard and helped organize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He conceived the idea of a "time capsule" sealed container to preserve current everyday items for future historians and implemented his concept at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Pendray co-founded the American Interplanetary Society.
Pendray was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to John Hall Pendray and his wife, Louisa Wolfe. He grew up in Niobrara County, Wyoming 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. Two years later, he married Leatrice M. Gregory. They had three daughters: Guenever, Elaine, and Lynette.
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 worked as a science editor for Literary Digest from 1932 to 1936. 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. Pendray created what he called a "time capsule", to preserve everyday items in a sealed container for future historians. He also created the word "laundromat" (then a Westinghouse washing machine; now a word for any self-service laundry facility) for Westinghouse.
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 the rocket expert Robert H. Goddard.
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) in 1934. This organization is now the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and awards the "G. Edward Pendray Award" in recognition of his achievements.
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.
Leatrice May Gregory (1905-1971), Pendray's first wife, was born in Colorado City, Texas, and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1927, where she met Pendray. She was a syndicated newspaper columnist, from 1929 to 1944, and a partner with her husband in a public relations firm, Pendray & Company, from 1945 to 1970. In 1930 she was one of the twelve founders of the American Interplanetary Society and participated in its rocket experiments. The successor of that early organization is the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which awards a Leatrice Gregory Pendray Scholarship to women undergraduates in science and engineering programs. A daughter, Guenever Lee Knapp (1932-1978), was one of the geologists who tested lunar samples at Princeton University.
Pendray's first wife died of cancer 1971. He married Annice Dean Crema, a widow with two daughters, the following year. She had worked for the public schools of Absecon, New Jersey, as a music supervisor, before retiring. A resident of Jamesburg, New Jersey, Pendray died in Cranbury, New Jersey in 1987 at the age of 86. Surviving were his second wife, two daughters, two step-daughters, a brother, two sisters, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Pendray went to various colleges and universities.
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 Edward's The Earth Tube as "vividly and plausibly written," recommending it "to all lovers of scientific fiction".