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Series VI. Affiliated and subsidiary companies, 1930 to 1975

Level of Description




Scope and Contents

The affiliated and subsidiary companies sub-series (1930-1975) consist of corporate materials from companies associated with or operated beneath companies owned by Howard Hughes. These materials primarily include administrative records detailing the management of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Hughes Aircraft Company (HAC). Materials for HHMI are dated from 1954 to 1962 and include reports, administrative correspondence, records of proceedings held with the United States Internal Revenue Service, and a manuscript of the institute’s goals and accomplishments. The HAC materials are dated from 1930 to 1975 and include a board-mounted floor plan for a temporary television studio, records from a congressional hearing regarding the HAC, reports for the development of high-speed cameras and a satellite, and schematic drawings for camera equipment.


1930 to 1975


10.39 Cubic Feet (3 boxes, 3 oversized boxes, and 1 unboxed item)
14.21 Linear Feet
To request this item in person:
Collection Number: MS-01036
Collection Name: Howard Hughes Film Production Records
Box/Folder: N/A

Biographical / Historical Note

Howard Hughes established HHMI on December 17, 1953, using the profits of the Hughes Aircraft Company to fund projects. After Hughes died in 1976, the Institute underwent years of legal battles until 1984 when charter trustees, appointed by the Delaware Court of Chancery, sold the Hughes Aircraft Company, the Institute’s only asset. HHMI then refocused its attention to researching cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology. As of 2022, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the fifth wealthiest philanthropic foundation in the world, and the second wealthiest in the United States.


“History.” Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Accessed September 17, 2020.

“World’s 100 largest philanthropic foundations list.” ARCO Lab. March 25, 2015. Accessed September 17, 2020.

Howard Hughes created HAC as a subsidiary to his Hughes Tool Company in 1932. The company won several government contracts in 1936 and 1937, which they ultimately lost. However, the company grew rapidly and moved to Culver City, California in 1941. Hughes won a contract to create the HK-1, or as its skeptics called it, the Spruce Goose. Ultimately, the HK-1 only flew once, for a distance of one mile. HAC diversified into guided missile and radio technologies throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, becoming the sole producer of the United States Air Force’s interceptor control systems. At its height, HAC was the tenth leading defense contractor in the United States, as well as the largest manufacturing employee in the state of California. HHMI assumed control of HAC's assets and sold them to General Motors in 1985.


"The Beginning of Hughes Aircraft Company." Hughes Industrial Historic District. 2022. Accessed April 8, 2022.

Cold War: Culver City Project. “Hughes Aircraft Company.” The Wende Museum. 2020. Accessed February 01, 2021.


Materials are arranged chronologically.