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Northrop, John Knudsenlocked

(10 November 1895–18 February 1981)
  • William M. Leary


Northrop, John Knudsen (10 November 1895–18 February 1981), aircraft designer and manufacturer, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Charles Wheeler Northrop and Helen C. Knudsen. Shortly after Northrop was born, his family moved to Nebraska, where his father worked as a salesman in a Lincoln department store. In 1904 Charles Northrop moved to California, where he took a job as a semi-skilled carpenter; his family followed him there, and for a time they lived in tents until their financial position improved. After graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1913, Northrop worked first as a garage mechanic and then became an architectural draftsman. In 1916 he was hired by local aviation enthusiasts Allan and Malcolm Loughead, who were building a seaplane for exhibition flying. (The name was pronounced—and later spelled—Lockheed; see the entries on ...

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