Who the Heck is Orville Carlisle?

In 1954, Orville Carlisle,took his hobby of pyrotechnics and developed the first model rocket. The rocket called the Rock-A-Chute Mark I. He later took that design and streamlined it into the Rock-A-Chute Mark II in which he was awarded the patent for “toy rocket”. Harry Stine later teamed with Carlisle to form the first model Rocket company, Model Missles.
Carlisle was NAR member #1.

roc motor

Here is the original patent drawing
carlisle1click to enlarge

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9 Responses to Who the Heck is Orville Carlisle?

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  2. William Westerman says:

    Growing up in Norfolk, Nebraska I was a personal friend of Orville Carlisle. In fact, I beta tested a number of his early rocket motors. I still have in my possession a number of his original hand-rolled test rocket motors, a couple of his earliest Rock-A-Chute motors, the same ones that appear in the Smithsonian Institution, plus I have a couple of the later Model Missiles, Inc Rock-A-Chute Type A4 motors. These are all of historic value and not for firing. If anyone is interested in procuring these items I am willing to negotiate a price. Otherwise they will eventually go on eBay.
    Bill Westerman

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  8. Kevin Glenn Huey says:

    I knew Orv Carlisle. As a child, my mother, siblings and I were taken in by a relative in Norfolk, Nebraska who lived one street north of where Orv lived. Always testing his newest concoction trying to come up with a more beautiful firework, Orv was a magnet to the local kids, my brother and myself included. He would send us out to the middle of the street as the neighbors gathered to watch the near nightly summer show, and would instruct us to ignite safely his homemade fireworks, always admonishing us “that’s right get your nose right over it,” as a way of assuring we followed his strict ignition protocols. He was an incredibly generous mentor and his brother and he, joined later by his son, were friends I would visit every time I would return to Norfolk from far afield. During every visit they would regale whomever was in their store with tales of me trying to dig a firework mortar hole and ending up with one six inches deep and three feet wide, their laughter a grand sound to hear. Sadly all three have passed on, but I will always remember his incredible fireworks and more, the incredible person he was.

  9. Dale Dowsing says:

    Orv used to say: “Think big, and work small.” He could cram more effects into those little 4oz rockets than anyone else I know.
    -Dale Dowsing, Seattle WA

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