Joined the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London as an assistant Keeper (curator) in 1932, rising to become Keeper of the photographic collections. During the Second World War he joined the Ministry of Information, becoming director of the photographic division. During the war he became an instructor in aircraft recognition for the Royal Observer Corps, which led to a life-long interest in aviation history. Post-war he returned to the V&A as Keeper of Public Relations, organising many major exhibitions. As a hobby he continued to research aviation history, becoming an authority on early European aviation in particular. In retirement he held research fellowships at the Science Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.