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Catalog Data

Creator:
Wiseman, Fred, 1875-1961  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Wiseman-Peters (Fred Wiseman and J. W. Peters) (Aircraft manufacturer)  Search this
Extent:
0.59 Cubic feet (1 flatbox)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Tickets
Correspondence
Clippings
Date:
1909-1968
bulk [ca. 1910s, 1950s]
Summary:
Fred Wiseman, along with J. W. Peters and D.C. Prentiss, built a biplane named the Wiseman-Peters. During July 1910, both Peters and Wiseman flew the Wiseman-Peters and the following year Wiseman entered the 1911 Aviation Meet at Selfridge Field, Michigan. On February 17, 1911, Wiseman made the first airplane-carried mail flight officially sanctioned by any local U.S. post office and made available to the public when he carried mail, a bundle of newspapers and a sack of groceries from Petaluma, CA, to Santa Rosa, CA. After the 1911 season, Wiseman gave up flying. This collection consists of a large scrapbook. Inside the scrapbook are newspaper clippings, correspondence, 1st Day Covers, race tickets, and photographs chronicling both Wiseman's automobile and aviation careers.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a large scrapbook. Inside the scrapbook are newspaper clippings, correspondence, 1st Day Covers, race tickets, and photographs chronicling both Wiseman's automobile and aviation careers. Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
Materials are in the order the donor attached them to the scrapbook. Correspondence is often located within the envelope that is attached to the scrapbook. Some materials are loose and have been left in the arrangement in which they were found, unless a portion of a newspaper article could be matched to its other parts.
Biographical / Historical:
Fred Wiseman (1875-1961) was born in Santa Rosa, California, and after attending local schools he engaged in both the bicycle and automotive businesses. Wiseman won considerable fame racing Stoddard-Dayton cars on the West Coast as well as in the Chicago area. He became interested in aviation after attending the Wright brothers' homecoming celebration in 1909 and the first Los Angeles aviation meet at Dominguez Field in 1910. After these two events, Wiseman was convinced he wanted to learn to fly and so he returned to his home in Santa Rosa and persuaded Ben Noonan to put up $10,000 to build a plane. Wiseman, along with J. W. Peters and D.C. Prentiss, built a biplane named the Wiseman-Peters. During July 1910, both Peters and Wiseman flew the Wiseman-Peters and the following year Wiseman entered the 1911 Aviation Meet at Selfridge Field, Michigan. On February 17, 1911, Wiseman made the first airplane-carried mail flight officially sanctioned by any local U.S. post office and made available to the public when he carried mail, a bundle of newspapers and a sack of groceries from Petaluma, CA, to Santa Rosa, CA. (The first air mail flight sanctioned by the U.S. Post Office in Washington, D.C., took place on September 23, 1911, when Earle Ovington carried mail from Garden City, Long Island, to Mineola; and the first continuously scheduled U.S. air mail service began on May 15, 1918, with routes between Washington, Philadelphia, and New York.) During 1911, Wiseman had an active season of exhibition work, including flying for one week at the California State Fair. However, after this season Wiseman gave up flying because he thought there was no future in it. He sold his plane and returned to the automobile business. He later worked for Standard Oil Company of California. Wiseman was a member of the Early Birds of Aviation, an organization of pilots who flew solo in an aircraft prior to December 17, 1916. Weldon Cooke, another pioneer aviator from California, bought and modified the Wiseman-Peters aircraft, renaming it the Wiseman-Cooke. Cooke flew the Wiseman-Cooke for exhibition and air mail flights. The Wiseman-Cooke aircraft is currently part of the Smithsonian Institution's collections.
Provenance:
No donor information, Gift?, unknown, XXXX-0618, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Automobile racing  Search this
Air mail service  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Airplane racing  Search this
Aeronautics -- Competitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Wiseman-Peters #2 Biplane (1910)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Tickets
Correspondence
Clippings
Citation:
Fred Wiseman Scrapbook, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0618, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0618
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0618