The 18x70 mm motor size of common A, B, and C motors today came about because it was the same size tube used by the "Buzz Bomb Helicopter" firework made by Brown Manufacturing, which produced the initial rocket motors for Model Missiles Inc (MMI), the first rocket company. Convenience dictated the size. This was also true of the 29mm diameter used in many of today's mid power motors. Our hobby borrowed from the fireworks industry, a fact often overlooked in this more safety conscious time.
The Model Missile Association was established on December 7, 1957. It was a non-profit Colorado organization, and became the National Association of Rocketry at the end of 1958.
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NARAM 1, the first NAR rocket competition was held at the "Hogback Rocket Range" in Colorado on July 16 of 1959. Norman Mains, Jr. scored the most points and was the first national champion. NARAM 1 also featured the launch of a 7 engine cluster, "Honest Ivan" - a very impressive feat for back then. I love the cool launch towers they used (see image below) - I wish I had the skill to make one!
A few little known facts from the origin of the hobby...