Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Howard Hughes, Sr. Archive Lot - Horizontal Rotary Drill Howard Robard Hughes, Senior was born at Lancaster, Missouri, on September 9, 1869. He attended Harvard University and studied law but never got his law degree. He engaged in lead and zinc mining in Missouri until, in 1901, the Spindletop Oilfield was brought in. Hughes then decided that this was the industry of the future and set himself up in the drilling and contracting business in Beaumont, Texas. He and his partner, Walter Sharp, followed the industry around Texas and Louisiana with varying degrees of success. After attempting to drill some wildcat wells through extremely hard rock, Hughes decided that the industry needed a new design for drill bits which he managed to accomplish. This led to the founding of the Hughes Tool Company, a very profitable business. This lot contains a number of items related to the senior Hughes. First is a two-page autograph letter signed dated April 27, 1921 to "Bill" regarding a bounced check for $15.00 mentioning "...I presume you keep your bank account about like I keep my bank account." Next, is a one-page typed letter signed dated May 6, 1916 to Ed Prather, Secretary and Treasurer of Hughes Tool, regarding the revision of the Horizontal Rotary Drill. Also included are engineering drawings for this drill as well as technical specifications. Among the other items are airplane photos, a pocket notebook embossed "Howard Hughes," a typewritten order for drilling supplies with handwritten additions, a copy of a speech given at a banquet in Hughes' honor and a telegram to Lt. Col. Kuldell dated November 21, 1919 offering him a job interview. This is the same Bob Kuldell that owned the Howard Hughes, Jr. hat also included in this auction. A great lot of items. Generally in fine condition. Accompanied by COA from PSA/DNA.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2005
    22nd-23rd Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,436

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 February 16 Americana & Political - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $616,190