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Special Collections: Erwin Lewis Schwatt Papers

Erwin Lewis Schwatt Papers

About the Collection

Erwin Lewis Schwatt was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1897, the son of Russian and German immigrants Dr. Isaac Schwatt and Rose E. Schwatt and eldest brother of Irma, Herbert, and Winfred “Wynn” Schwatt. An industrial engineer, Schwatt worked for the automotive industry early on before moving to Atlantic City in about 1924. 

In Atlantic City, he was involved with many different ventures. He was an inventor. One of his accomplishments was to redesign the National Weather Service’s Weather System Warning Display to include flags and lights for four levels of storm intensities. Erwin Schwatt was also involved in the improvement and reconstruction of an auto speedway at the Trenton State Fair.

As a member and later president of the Aero Club of Atlantic City, he organized a bicentennial celebration of birth of an early aviator, Jean Pierre Blanchard, who piloted a balloon from Philadelphia in 1793. He designed the Ocean City Municipal Airport. He was also the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Aviation Committee and the aviation editor for the Atlantic City Press. He was responsible for securing transport and air service contracts for the South Jersey area as well.

Erwin Schwatt also was a real-estate agent for WM. F. Shaw & Co. Realtors, most likely involved in the construction and selling of houses in Brigantine Beach. While working for the real-estate company Schwatt built houses within the South Jersey area. He was involved in tourism promotion and advertising of Atlantic City. Schwatt worked as a journalist for the Jersey Times newspaper and did freelance writing for others. His journalism career lasted for 20 years, 17 of which were dedicated to the Jersey Times. One of the notable topics he wrote about included information on beach erosion and proposals on how to control it. Schwatt passed away on July 25, 1972 in Atlantic City. 

This collection contains papers, maps, correspondence, ephemera and photographs relating to Erwin Schwatt’s personal and professional life. 

In the personal papers, items relating to Schwatt’s numerous interests include topics about aviation and early aviation history, automobiles, and inventions. The professional papers include topics relating to real estate, promotional ideas to increase Atlantic City tourism, weather reporting and predicting, and the newspaper industry. There is one folder of papers from his parents, Dr. Isaac Schwatt and Mrs. Rose E. Schwatt.

Local highlights of the collection include tourism pamphlets and ephemera relating to Brigantine Beach, New Jersey and Atlantic City, New Jersey, as well as a number of rare newspapers from these two locales. The photograph collection also illustrates his work on real estate in Brigantine and also includes numerous images from the 1942 Miss America Pageant.

While Schwatt designed the Ocean City Municipal Airport, this collection does not contain any materials relating directly to that. His papers on aviation are mainly concerned with the Blanchard balloon flight anniversary and the Aero Club of Atlantic City. 

Processed by Tyneka Boggs and Christopher Hugo.

From the Collection

Semi-circular device with a movable arm that relates weather to the month

Golden Weather on a Seashell - a device to show the correlation between the weather in Atlantic City and the months

Typed paper with rules of Spingo by Erwin Schwatt

Rules for Spingo game, created by Erwin Schwatt

Atlantic City Green Guide booklets - some of the tourism brochures and ephemera collected by Erwin Schwatt

Printed paper on one half is an advertisement for Flanders hotel in Ocean City; on the other it reads Boardwalk Walking Club

Boardwalk Walking Club brochure - a program created by Erwin Schwatt

Related Resources

Copyright Notice

While Stockton University’s Bjork Library’s Special Collection and Archives owns the collection, Stockton may not own the copyright for all of the items. Researchers wishing to reproduce materials are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions.