Skip to main content

Video Documentaries

Video Documentaries

Two video documentaries are available for viewing:

VPB-128 Insignia

A video documentary of VPB-128, the first crew assigned to the brand new Lockheed PV-1 Ventura Bomber aircraft. The bomber squadron was first stationed in Deland, Florida and then Floyd Bennett airfield field in NYC. The PV-1 had a wingspan of 65.5 feet, a length of 51.7 feet and was powered by two 2,000 hp Pratt-Whitney engines. It could carry up to five tons of cargo including 3,000 pounds in the bomb bay and 1,000 pounds under each wing. It could climb 2,230 feet per minute and reach a maximum speed of 300 MPH. It was designed as a land-based maritime patrol bomber. The video is narrated by John D Brewer and Duane D Pearsall and told as they remembered the WWII VPB-128 Bomber Squadron of the United States Navy.

The VPB128 video can be viewed here

Statitrol Smokegard Model 700A - front

A video documentary of Duane D. Pearsall's private collection of Statitrol Corporation's early models of prototypes and early production models of smoke detectors. In 1963, Pearsall's accidental discovery that ions are rapidly absorbed by particles of combustion led to the invention on the first home battery powered ionization smoke detector trademarked, SmokeGard.

Pearsall's personal collection contains fourteen smoke detectors. Nine smoke detectors can be viewed on the Statitrol Smokegard page of this exhibit, and five of the smoke detectors are permanently on exhibit in the "Profiles of Innovators" case, located on the ground floor in the Gordon Library's Curation, Preservation and Archives at WPI.

The Smoke detector video can be viewed here.

Much appreciation goes to Pearsall’s daughter Maryann Pearsall Rowley and friend Wendy Wolfe for their time, research, and talents in making a professional quality video documentary of WWII Navy Air Squadron VPB 128. The video, produced in 2004, was gratefully received by surviving squadron members and by relatives of living and deceased squadron personnel.

They were also responsible for the video documentary of the Statitrol Smokegard smoke detectors.