“As we attempt to gain increased public awareness and national prominence, it has become more and more apparent that the name of our facility was becoming more of a hindrance than an asset.”
- NEAM News Vol. 24 no. 1, Spring 1984
When the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association was in the early stages of forming an air museum in the 1960s, a name for the museum was decided on after much debate. While several others were considered (including at one point “New England Air Museum”), the name “Bradley Air Museum” (BAM) was decided upon, after operating under the name Bradley Air Exhibit for several years while the museum was being developed. Bradley Air Museum was chosen given the connection the organization had to Bradley International Airport, which is named for Lt. Eugene Bradley, who died from a crash on the site in 1941. The museum stayed operating under the name until the mid-1980s.
It became apparent to the board members and staff of BAM that the museum’s name was causing issues for the organization. Many people did not understand the name Bradley and what that meant, often thinking the museum was a part of the airport. The name also kept the museum from expanding its recognition as an important aviation site in the country. The switch to New England Air Museum (NEAM) came in 1984, allowing the museum to reach a broader audience and grow as an institution.