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Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Collection

Creator:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Extent:
22.05 Cubic feet (49 Boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Publications
Financial records
Correspondence
Date:
1928-circa 1980s
Summary:
This collection consists of the records and historical materials of the Early Bird organization, including correspondence; photographs; the organization's newsletter, Chirp; financial records; reunion memorabilia; biographical material of members; and membership lists. This material was donated to the Museum after the National Air Museum was designated as the official repository for Early Bird records.
Scope and Contents:
The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Collection (acc. XXXX-0566) contains approximately 18 cubic feet of material relating to this group of early pilots. The material includes correspondence, financial records, periodicals, photographic material, published materials and various other media containing information on the organization and its individual members.

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was designated by the Early Birds as the official repository for the organization in 1960 and the Museum has obtained materials at different times from various members. Much of the material in the collection is comprised of the records and memorabilia of the organization's officers, including Paul Garber, past President as well as Archivist/Historian for the group. In addition to the records contained in this collection, members have donated to NASM aircraft, plaques and other items of historical interest.

Some preliminary processing work had been done on this collection by 1996, but much of the material remained without obvious order. Original order, when identified, has been maintained.

Material was added from the Museum's Archives' Technical Files on organizations but researchers seeking information on individual members may wish to cross-reference the biographical section of the Technical Files located in NASM's Archives downtown which includes folders for most of the Early Birds.

Some members of the Early Birds remained quite active with the organization until the late 1980s. The material in the collection therefore spans over eighty years.
Arrangement note:
Container List: Series I: Core organizational documents; Series II: Organizational correspondence and records; Series III: Publications; Series IV: Events; Series V: Individual members; Series VI: Miscellaneous; Series VII: Scrapbooks

Appendices. Appendix I: Chronological List of Officers Appendix II: Membership list Related collections in NASM's holdings
Biographical / Historical:
Founded after the National Air Races of 1928, the Early Birds (later to be known as the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc.) consisted of pioneer aviators banded together for the purposes of preserving aviation history, advancing interest in aeronautics and the enjoyment of good fellowship. Membership in the group necessitated documentary evidence of solo flight in heavier- or lighter-than-air craft before December 17, 1916. This date was of some significance to the Early Birds, being the thirteenth anniversary (that number being considered propitious) of the first sustained, powered, heavier-than-air flight by the Wrights at Kitty Hawk. Those interested in flying in this pre-World War I period were often required to build their own craft and instruct themselves in the necessary skills to pilot it and members took great pride in this evidence of initiative. (For nationals of countries other than the United States which were engaged in the War the conditional date was set at August 4, 1914.)

As an organization, the Early Birds was responsible for the preservation of aircraft and records, the erection of numerous markers and monuments and the education of the public on the importance of aviation. With members including Glenn Curtiss, Blanche Stuart Scott, Matilde Moisant, Grover Loening, Roy Knabenshue, Sir Thomas Sopwith, Katherine Stinson, Marjorie Stinson, Earle Ovington, Matty Laird, Anthony Fokker and Giuseppe Bellanca, their contributions as individuals were incalculable.

Numbering nearly 600 members at its peak, the Early Birds was conceived of as a "last man's club" whose existence would cease with the passing of its last surviving member.
Related Collections in NASM's Holdings:
NOTES FOR STAFF

NameMaterialAccession NumberLawrence M. AllisonBiographical material1988-0021Charles A. ArensScrapbooksXXXX-0016Ralph S. BarnabyPersonal Papers1987-0048Carl T. Batts Collection1992-0048George W. BeattyCollection 1989-0013/1991-0069Lucielle A. Belmont Exhibition AdvertisementXXXX-0078Edward R. BolandMemorabiliaXXXX-0063Frank T. CoffynScrapbookXXXX-0065Harry D. CoplandSlide CollectionXXXX-0439H. Paul CulverScrapbookXXXX-0401H.P. Culver Airmail Scrapbook & InvoicesXXXX-0401Glenn CurtissScrapbookXXXX-0320Glenn H. CurtissCollectionXXXX-0053Charles H. DayScrapbookXXXX-0028Curtiss LaQ. DayScrapbookXXXX-0292William Carl Diehl CollectionXXXX-0469Early Aviation ('06-'10)ScrapbooksXXXX-0404Early Aviation (ca. '10)ScrapbooksXXXX-0299Early AviationPhotograph ScrapbookXXXX-0322Early AviationPhotograph ScrapbookXXXX-0048Early AviationScrapbookXXXX-0291"Early Birds"Reunion AutographsXXXX-0124Luis DeFlorezScrapbook/MemorabiliaXXXX-0069Paul E. GarberScrapbookXXXX-0246Thomas Foster Hamilton Collection1989-0129Edward HoltermanScrapbookXXXX-0223S. Jerwan/MoisantScrapbookXXXX-0231Walter E. JohnsonScrapbook1987-0068Ernest Jones AeronauticalCollectionXXXX-0096Roy KnabenshueAutobiography ManuscriptXXXX-0136Frank P. LahmCollection1984-0044Lahm Airport Memorial& DedicationScrapbook S-118XXXX-0268R.F. MacFieScrapbookXXXX-0296Glenn L. MartinScrapbookXXXX-0018James V. MartinScrapbookXXXX-0236Thomas deWitt MillingPersonal PapersXXXX-0133Harold E. Morehouse "Flying Pioneers" BiographiesXXXX-0450George A. PageCollectionXXXX-0126Evan J. Parker ScrapbookXXXX-0348Fred ParkerScrapbookXXXX-0224Edwin C. ParsonsScrapbookXXXX-0308Roland RohlfsScrapbookXXXX-0278Martin F. Scanlon ScrapbooksXXXX-0037Blanche Stuart ScottMemorabiliaXXXX-0062William H. Sheahan Early Aviation PhotographsXXXX-0523Thomas SteptoeScrapbookXXXX-0229Paul R. StocktonWorld War I Aviation ScrapbookXXXX-0283Paul StudenskiCollection1989-0012Henry ToncrayScrapbook1989-0012John H. TowersWorld War I Aviation ScrapbookXXXX-0033Victor VernonScrapbookXXXX-0221John B.R. VerplanckScrapbookXXXX-0012Clifford L. Webster CollectionXXXX-0559Elling D. Weeks (E.D. "Hud" Weeks)Early Aviation Collection1984-0004, 1984-0006Bernard L. Whelan Photographs1992-0055Orville & Wilbur WrightMemorabiliaXXXX-0079
Provenance:
Early Birds of Aviation, Inc., gift, 1960s-1980s, XXXX-0566, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Topic:
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Societies, etc.  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Publications
Financial records
Correspondence
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0566
See more items in:
Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0566
Additional Online Media:

Carl T. Batts Collection

Creator:
Batts, Carl T., 1892-1969  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Batts, Carl T., 1892-1969  Search this
Extent:
1.35 Cubic Feet ((3 legal document boxes))
1.26 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Date:
1953-1969
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of correspondence from and to Batts concerning the organizational interests of the Early Birds. The correspondence is organized into two series, one a chronological correspondence series and the other a series of miscellaneous documents. The correspondence reveals Batts' concern with arrangements for reunions and other affairs of the organization. The letters also contain scattered observations on the various personalities within the organization.
Biographical / Historical:
Carl T. Batts (1892-1969) was a longtime member of the Early Birds and served as its president in 1966. Batts soloed in a Curtiss JN-4D at Curtiss Field on August 19, 1916. He became a instructor at Curtiss Field and in 1917 he was transferred to the Curtiss School at Newport News, VA where he instructed Army and Navy Cadets until the Armistice. In 1919 Batts spent nine months flying around Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland in a Curtiss MF Flying Boat. Batts managed the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service at St. Louis, 1929-1931. During World War II he served as a civilian flight instructor with the Polaris Flight Academy.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
The Early Birds, gift, 1992, 1992-0048, NASM
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:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Identifier:
NASM.1992.0048
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1992-0048

Air Mail Collection [Culver]

Creator:
Culver, H. Paul, 1893-1964  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Culver, H. Paul, 1893-1964  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic Feet ((1 slim legal document box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Lists
Date:
1918
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material documenting the Army's air mail service and includes correspondence, air mail schedules, equipment lists and receipts, operation orders and memorandums, officer lists and personal notifications and orders.
Biographical / Historical:
H. Paul Culver (1893-1964) was taught to fly by Glenn Curtiss and was an Army test pilot and combat flying instructor during World War I. In May of 1918, 1st Lieutenant Culver was one of four United States Army pilots who flew the Nation's first regular two way air mail run between New York City and Washington, DC. Culver flew from Philadelphia to New York, the second leg of the historic run. Culver was also in charge of the Bustleton Pennsylvania Air Mail Station during the three month period that the Army flew the air mail. At the end of that period, the post office took over all air mail operations. After Culver's stint as an air mail pilot, he resigned from the Army and became a sales engineer for the Ex-Cell-O Corporation. He was a member of the Early Birds.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Commander Paul D. Culver, gift, 1999, 1999-0028, 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:
Air mail service  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Lists
Identifier:
NASM.1999.0028
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1999-0028

H. Paul Culver Air Mail Scrapbook and Invoices

Creator:
Culver, H. Paul, 1893-1964  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Culver, H. Paul, 1893-1964  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Cubic Feet ((1 flatbox))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Maps
Invoices
Date:
1918
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a scrapbook compiled by H. Paul Culver containing news clippings, articles, photographs, an invoice book, an annotated route map, and other documentation relating to the initiation of airmail service.
Biographical / Historical:
H. Paul Culver flew the first regular scheduled air mail run in the world on May 15, 1918. The trip was from Philadelphia to New York and 2457 pieces of mail were carried. The trip was flown in one hour, with the aircraft attaining a speed of 75 miles per hour. Culver learned to fly at the Glenn Curtiss School in Newport News, VA., in 1916. During World War I Culver served as a flying instructor at Princeton University. He was also a member of the Early Birds.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Mrs. H. Paul Culver, gift, ca. 1976, XXXX-0401, 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:
Air mail service  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Maps
Invoices
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0401
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0401

Bernetta A. Miller Collection

Creator:
Miller, Bernetta Adams.  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic Feet ((1 folder))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Manuscripts
Date:
bulk 1912-1970
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes photographs of Bernetta Miller's aviator's license and of Miller in 1963. There is also a personally written account of her first monoplane flight, a newspaper article, and an Early Bird reunion program.
Biographical / Historical:
Bernetta Adams Miller (1886-1975) received her aviator's license in 1912 from the Aero Club of America of New York, making her the third female Early Bird. A month later, she helped demonstrate the Bleriot monoplane to the United States government at College Park, MD. Due to the financial expenses, that was the end of her flying career. In World War I she worked in Paris at the YMCA as an accountant and then a canteen worker at the front and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. She then spent 7 years as a bursar of the American Girls College in Istanbul, Turkey. She returned to the U.S. in 1933 and worked at several more colleges until she retired - at one of which, Princeton, she met and worked with Albert Einstein.
Provenance:
Bernetta Adams Miller, Gift
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:
Aeronautics  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Manuscripts
Citation:
Bernetta A. Miller Collection, Accession XXXX-0689, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0689
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0689

Mahlon Philip Bryan Collection

Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Extent:
.18t Cubic feet ((1 box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
bulk 1916-1963
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of Mahlon Philip Bryan's cadet logbook from the 27th Aero Squadron, 1917-1918; Early Birds membership card; F.A.I. Aero Club of America Aviator's Certificate number 580; 1959-1960 membership card for the American Field Service; handwritten history of the 27th Aero Squadron; Early Birds membership rosters; several copies of Early Bird publication Chirp; correspondence and photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Mahlon Philip "Phil" Bryan (8/9/1895-196?) attended the Harvard Summer Aviation School in 1916 and served in France with the American Field Service (AFS) before the American entry into World War I.
Provenance:
Mrs. William Kirkpatrick, Gift, 2004
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:
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
World War, 1914-1918 -- France  Search this
World War, 1914-1918 -- France  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
27th Aero Squadron  Search this
Citation:
Mahlon Philip Bryan Collection, Accession 2004-0031, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2004.0031
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2004-0031

Walter E. Johnson Scrapbook

Creator:
Johnson, Florence  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Thomas Brothers Co  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Johnson, Walter E.  Search this
Extent:
0.1 Cubic feet ((1 scrapbook))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Date:
1910-1978
bulk 1910-1915
Scope and Contents:
This scrapbook was kept by Johnson's wife Florence, and is a collection of photographs and newspaper clippings outlining his career. It also contains correspondence written to Mrs. Johnson concerning her husband.
Biographical / Historical:
Walter E. Johnson was a pioneer in early aviation and a World War I aviation instructor. He was also a member of the 'Early Birds,' a group recognized as flying before December 17, 1916. His first job dealing with aviation was working for Glenn H. Curtiss as a mechanic and later flying for the Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Elizabeth J. Harrison, gift, 1987, 1987-0068, not NASM
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:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Flight training  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
NASM.1987.0068
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1987-0068

Ralph Stanton Barnaby Papers

Creator:
Barnaby, Ralph S. (Ralph Stanton), 1893-1986  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Soaring Society of America  Search this
United States. Navy  Search this
Barnaby, Ralph S. (Ralph Stanton), 1893-1986  Search this
Extent:
3.15 Cubic Feet ((7 legal document boxes))
2.94 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Diaries
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Date:
1915-1986
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains newspaper clippings and correspondence documenting Barnaby's gliding career and association with the Early Birds as well as correspondence received late in his life from other aviation pioneers, awards and commendations, and material on numerous aviation celebrations and dedicatory events attended by Barnaby.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Stanton Barnaby (1893-1986) was an aviation pioneer. Barnaby was the first licensed glider pilot in the United States and the first to successfully launch a glider from an airship. He organized and directed the Navy's first school for glider pilots. Barnaby also served as president of the Early Birds and helped organize the Soaring Society of America, as well as authoring a number of books on gliders and paper airplanes.
General:
Additional Materials: The following materials were transferred to the National Air and Space Museum Aeronautics Division -- one Early Bird cap, one trophy, two plaques, medals, pins, and official Early Bird envelopes.
NASMrev
Provenance:
Ralph Stanton Barnaby, gift, 1987, 1987-0048, Not NASM
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:
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Diaries
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Identifier:
NASM.1986.0048
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1986-0048

Roland Rohlfs Scrapbook

Creator:
Rohlfs, Roland  Search this
Names:
Aerial Advertising Company  Search this
Civil Aeronautics Administration  Search this
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company  Search this
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Rohlfs, Roland  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic feet ((1 slim legal document box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Programs
Clippings
Correspondence
Date:
1914-1973
bulk 1919-1931
Summary:
A scrapbook and photographs documenting Roland Rohlf's aviaiton career.
Scope and Contents:
A scrapbook records Rohlfs' career and includes correspondence, telegrams, programs, and newspaper articles. Loose photographs were reproduced on NASM Archives Videodisc 2B, and include family photographs as well as subjects relating to Rohlfs' career as described above.
Arrangement:
Photographs located in Videodisc Files; scrapbook is a single item.
Biographical / Historical:
Roland Rohlfs started his career establishing motorcycle records in 1914, before turning to the field of aviation. Rohlfs became an instructor and experimental test pilot with Curtiss Aeroplane Company during World War I, and he established speed and altitude records. Because of his popularity, he endorsed advertisements for such items as watches, spark plugs, parachutes and cars. In 1928, Rohlfs developed and patented an aerial neon sign, and established the Aerial Advertising Company to administer it. Toward the end of his career, he promoted private flying as a "Personal Flying Specialist" for the Civil Aviation Authority and he was an operations manager for Aeromarine Airways. Rohlfs was a member of the Early Birds.
Provenance:
Roland Rohlfs, Gift, Unknown, NASM.XXXX.0278
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:
Test pilots -- United States  Search this
Test pilots  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Aeronautics -- Competitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Programs
Clippings
Correspondence
Citation:
Roland Rohlfs Collection, NASM.XXXX.0278, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0278
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0278

Evan J. Parker Scrapbook

Creator:
Parker, Evan Jenkins, 1885-1966  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Strobel Dirigible Co  Search this
Parker, Evan Jenkins, 1885-1966  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic Feet ((1 flatbox))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Programs
Clippings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1908-1966
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a red scrapbook, with the following title: 'Pioneer Dirigible Flights 1908, 1910, 1911.' The scrapbook contains photographs, newspaper articles and programs documenting Parker's dirigible career and his involvement in the Early Birds.
Biographical / Historical:
Evan Jenkins Parker (1885-1966), a pioneer dirigible pilot, made his first solo flight in a dirigible at Hutchinson, Kansas in 1908 and until 1911 he barnstormed at county fairs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Parker worked for Strobel Dirigible, Co., where he both constructed and flew dirigibles which were propelled 300-400 feet above the ground by two-cylinder motorcycle engines. He had several close calls, including when the dirigible crashed into a roller coaster and electrical wires. When he was 27, Parker ended his professional flying career and went to work for Eastman Kodak Company. Parker was a member of the Early Birds.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Evan Parker, through the Early Birds, Gift, 1966?, XXXX-0348, Public Domain
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:
Airships  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Programs
Clippings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0348
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0348

Elmo Neale Pickerill Papers

Creator:
Pickerill, Elmo Neale, 1885-1968  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Long Island Early Fliers Club  Search this
OX5 Aviation Pioneers.  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Veterans Wireless Operators Association.  Search this
Extent:
2.55 Cubic feet ((4 legal document boxes) (3 shoeboxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Newsletters
Publications
Photographs
Date:
1907-1968
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains photographs (some with captions) with corresponding negatives, publications, periodicals, Early Bird newsletters and stationary, biographical material, and correspondence from friends and contemporaries.
Biographical / Historical:
Elmo Neale Pickerill (1885 - 1968) was born in Greenridge, Missouri. In 1910 he made his first solo flight while establishing air to ground wireless radio communication. Pickerill was an officer in the aviation section of the Army Signal Corps during World War I. He joined RCA in 1920 and retired in 1950. Pickerill was not only a member, but held officer positions in the following organizations: The Early Birds, Long Island Early Fliers Club, the OX5 Club, and the Veterans Wireless Operators Association. He was most noted for his work with the Early Birds.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Eugene M. Baker, gift, 1997, 1997-0023, NASM
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:
Aeronautics  Search this
Radio in aeronautics  Search this
Radio  Search this
Radio -- History  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Aeronautical instruments  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Newsletters
Publications
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.1997.0023
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1997-0023

The Early Birds

Author:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization)  Search this
Subject:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization) Periodicals  Search this
Physical description:
11 no. ; 30 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1929
1929-1932
Call number:
TL501 .E12
TL501.E12
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_373299

Chirp

Author:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization)  Search this
Subject:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization)  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 30 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1934
19uu
1934-1955
Topic:
Aeronautics--Societies, etc  Search this
Call number:
TL501 .E12
TL501.E12
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_373300

Harry Copland Collection

Creator:
Copland, Harry Depew, 1896-1976  Search this
Names:
Curtiss Flying Service, Inc  Search this
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
United States. Army. Air Corps. Southeast Army Air Corps  Search this
Copland, Harry Depew, 1896-1976  Search this
Extent:
0.78 Cubic feet ((1 legal document box) (3 shoeboxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Logs (records)
Glass negatives
Date:
1917-1953
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of three boxes of 4' and 3' glass slides, dating from the early 1930s. The slides are probably from 1919-1932 when Copland was an instructor and lecturer for Curtiss Flying Service, Inc. There are also seven log books chronicling both Copland's civilian and military flights (1917-1942) and numerous private and commerical pilots, mechanic, and medical licenses mostly from the 1920s-1940s. Lastly, there is a small black binder full of aerial photographs and notes, relating to a number of fields that were used for World War II training. All of the fields were part of the Southeast Army Air Corps, which included a number of civilian contract schools. Included in this notebook are lists of the officers for each school. The following fields and schools are included: Riddle Aero Inst., Florida; Lodwick School of Aero, Florida; Hawthorne School of Aeronautics, South Carolina; Tuskegee Institute, Alabama; Darr Aero Tech, Georgia; Graham Aviation Company, Georgia; Embry-Riddle Company, Florida; Lodwich Aviation Military Academy, Florida; Southeastern Air Service, South Carolina; Southern Aviation School, South Carolina; Clarksdale School of Aviation, Mississippi; South Aviation Training School, Alabama; Raymond-Richardson Aviation Co, Georgia; Helena Aero Tech, Arkansas; and Greenville Aviation School, Florida.
Biographical / Historical:
Harry Depew Copland (1896-1976) was an Early Bird, soloing in a glider in 1909 and in an airplane in 1911. His many achievements include: exhibition flights, (1911); British Blockade Runners, radio officer (1915-1916); Canadian Royal Flying Corps 203rd Squadron, 1st Lieutenant and Flight Commander (1917-1919); District Manager of the New England Flying Service in charge of Curtiss Primary School Flying Operations (1929-1932). During World War II he served at Maxwell Field, AL, and as commanding officer of the 19th AAF Basic Flying Detachment at Greenville, S.C. Copland was also involved with Altantic Airways, Inc., United Air Lines, and was the Director of Florida Aviation Department.
General:
Other materials: Two pouches which had held licenses and log books were transferred to NASM Aeronautics Division.
NASMrev
Provenance:
Harry Copland?, unknown, unknown, XXXX-0439, 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:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Flight training  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Aerial photography  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Logs (records)
Glass negatives
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0439
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0439
Additional Online Media:

Paul R. Stockton Scrapbook

Creator:
Stockton, Paul R., 1880-1919  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
New York. National Guard. First Aero Company  Search this
United States. Army. Air Service. 12th Aero Squadron  Search this
Richthofen, Manfred,, Freiherr von,, 1892-1918  Search this
Stockton, Paul R., 1880-1919  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet ((1 box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Ephemera
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1916-1919
Scope and Contents:
This collection provides extensive documentation on the flying career of Paul R. Stockton from his entry into the New York Air National Guard through his service in France and Germany and eventual discharge in 1919. Included in this collection is documentation of the activies, personnel and equipment of Stockton's squadron, as well as are excellent aerial photographs of airplanes and before and after photographs of target areas. Many of the photographs show Marie, the Belgian police dog Stockton raised during the war. (Marie later appeared in motion pictures with Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino and others). One image is purportedly from one of the aircraft of Baron von Richtofen's "Flying Circus." Also included in this scrapbook are certificates of Stockton's appointments to corporal and to 1st lieutenant, hotel menus, copies of leaflets dropped by US aviators behind the German lines, examples of European currency, train and bus tickets, fabric swatches from aircraft, Stockton's pilot license and other such ephemera.
Biographical / Historical:
Paul R. Stockton (1880-1962) enlisted in the Signal Corps from 1906-1909 and served in Cuba and Puerto Rico. He made his first flight in 1916 as a member of the First Aero Company, New York State National Guard at Mineola, New York. In 1917 Stockton was ordered overseas and served as the Commanding Officer of the 12th Aero Squadron of the American Expeditionary Forces. Stockton was discharged in 1919, and was later a member of the Early Birds.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
No donor information, gift, unknown, XXXX-0283, 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:
World War, 1914-1918 -- Aerial operations  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0283
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0283
Additional Online Media:

E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection

Creator:
Weeks, E. D. "Hud" (Evert D.)  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Allison, Lawrence M.  Search this
Arens, Charles A., 1895-1967  Search this
Brock, Walter L.  Search this
Hildesheim, Erik  Search this
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955  Search this
Morehouse, Harold E., 1894-1973  Search this
Parker, Will D.  Search this
Tibbs, Burrell  Search this
Waterman, Walter D.  Search this
Weeks, E. D. "Hud" (Evert D.)  Search this
Extent:
1.09 Cubic Feet (1 records center box)
1.04 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Publications
Diaries
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Photographs
Date:
1907-1981
Summary:
Hud Weeks, pilot and restorer of early aircraft, exchanged correspondence with many early aviators and possessed a strong interest in the career of the exhibition pilot Lincoln Beachey.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of correspondence between E. D. "Hud" Weeks, a cosmetics manufacturer and aviation enthusiast from Des Moines, IO and various aviation personalities and members of the Early Birds, a not-for-profit organization established in 1928 and composed of persons who had piloted an aircraft or airship prior to 17 December 1916. The collection also includes material gathered by Weeks on early aeronautical events, both in the US and abroad. Included within this collection are newspaper articles on Lincoln Beachey's life and tragic death, a great deal of photographs of the daring aeronaut and correspondence between Hud Weeks and former colleagues of Beachey's such as Art Mix and Warren Eaton.
Arrangement note:
The E.D. "Hud" Weeks Collection contains approximately one cubic foot of material, including photographs, printed, typewritten and handwritten material. It was donated to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in two installments in 1985 (accessions 1 985-0004 and 1985-0006).

Original order of the materials, where identified, has been maintained.

Series in the collection are as follows: Series I: Personal Series II: Correspondence Series III: Lincoln Beachey Series IV: Oversized materials
Biographical/Historical note:
Evert D. "Hud" Weeks of Des Moines, Iowa, first learned to fly in 1930. It was an experience that would guide his future life. A cosmetics manufacturer by trade, Weeks devoted his spare time to the collection and restoration of antique aircraft and the recreation of pioneer aircraft. To further this avocation, Weeks entered into correspondence with many early aviators and fellow collectors. Several of these were Early Birds, members of an organization having the distinction of soloing before December 17, 1916. Weeks possessed a strong interest in the career of the exhibition pilot, Lincoln Beachey.
Provenance:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks, gift, 1985, 1985-0004
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Wright (Co) Model G Aeroboat  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Diaries
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Photographs
Citation:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection, Acc. 1985-0004, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1985.0004
See more items in:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1985-0004
Additional Online Media:

Edward A. Korn Photographic Material [Flohn]

Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Korn Brothers (Milton H. Korn & Edward A. Korn) (Shelby County, OH)  Search this
Beatty, George W., -1955  Search this
Extent:
0.41 Cubic Feet ((2 containers))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photograph albums
Calendars
Date:
bulk 1910 to 1955
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of photographic materials given to Paul Henry Flohn by Edward A. Korn on the occasion of Flohn's 100th carrier landing in August 1955. The materials consist of an album, prefaced by a letter from Korn to Flohn, containing fourteen 8 x 10 inch black and white photographs of Edward and Milton Korn and various aircraft including a Farman type biplane; the Korn Brothers 1910 Monoplane (Benoist Type XII); a Wright (Co) Model B; and the Benoist Type XII #32. George W. Beatty can also be seen in one of the photographs. All the photos have been captioned by Korn. The collection also contains a 1956 Thompson Products calendar (measuring approximately 17 x 15 inches) devoted to the Early Birds and featuring color lithographs (artwork by Charles H. Hubbell) devoted to a different aviator for each month. Featured aviators are Henry W. Walden; Frank T. Coffyn; Paul Studenski; Blanche Stuart Scott; Walter E. Johnson; Katherine (Otero) Stinson; Arthur O. and Albert S. Heinrich; Clifford Lawrence Webster; Beckwith Havens and John Bayard Rodgers Verplank; Cecil M. Peoli; Ernest Craft Hall; and Edward A. Korn. Korn's lithograph has been removed from the calendar for framing. Also included in the collection is a color lithograph (approximately 14 x 12 inches), also taken from a calendar, that shows a United Airlines Douglas DC-3 in flight and is inscribed with a Christmas greeting from Korn to Paul Flohn. The final item in this collection is a copy of a U.S. Navy photograph showing Flohn in the cockpit of a Vought F4U Corsair aboard the USS Antietam (CV-36) after his 100th carrier landing.
Biographical / Historical:
Edward A. Korn, a native of Shelby County, Ohio, was an early aviator who, along with his brother Milton, built and flew Benoist Type XII #32. Edward and Milton completed work on their aircraft in May 1912 and made numerous exhibition flights over the course of the following year. On August 13, 1913, the aircraft, piloted by Edward with Milton as a passenger, crashed while flying near their grandfather's farm at Montra, Ohio. Milton died shortly thereafter from injuries he sustained. Edward was also badly injured, but recovered. Edward left aviation in 1916 and became a chiropractor. Paul Henry Flohn was a patient of Dr. Korn's as a child. The two shared a love of flying and became lifelong friends. Korn acted as a mentor and an inspiration to Flohn, who became a naval aviator. During his time in the U.S. Navy, Flohn made a total of 115 carrier landings, 29 of which were night landings, before retiring in 1956 as a Lieutenant (junior grade).
Provenance:
Paul Flohn, Gift, 2015
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:
Korn Brothers 1910 Monoplane (Benoist Type XII)  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Calendars
Citation:
Edward A. Korn Photographic Material [Flohn], Accession number, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2015.0042
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2015-0042

George A. Page Jr. Collection

Creator:
Page, George Augustus, Jr., 1892-1983  Search this
Names:
Aeromarine Plane & Motor Co  Search this
Aeronca (Aeronautical Corp of America)  Search this
American Trans Oceanic Co  Search this
Curtiss-Wright Corporation  Search this
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Heinrich Aeroplane Co, Inc  Search this
Moisant Monoplane Co  Search this
Page, George Augustus, Jr., 1892-1983  Search this
Extent:
0.45 Cubic feet ((1 legal document box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Correspondence
Logs (records)
Publications
Clippings
Date:
1921-1977
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the following material documenting Page's aviation career: membership cards and licenses; log books; newspaper and magazine articles; biographical material; and photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
George Augustus Page (1892-1983) was an Early Bird and a pioneer aircraft designer. Page was issued his pilot's license in 1914 and went on to became an aeronautical engineer despite the fact that he had no formal training. Page began his aeronautical design career by working for small aviation companies -- Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co., Heinrich Aeroplane Company, Inc, and Moisant. Besides a brief time in 1919-1921, when Page was a mechanic and pilot for American Trans Oceanic Co. -- an early airline operation between Miami and Cuba, Page worked for Curtiss-Wright Air Plane Division from 1917 to 1951. Curtiss-Wright hired Page as director of engineering and in this position he directed production of 130 types of aircraft. One of Page's most famous designs was the C46 cargo plane use in the India-Burma-ChinaTheater during World War II. Page left Curtiss-Wright in 1951 to work for Aeronca, Inc.
Provenance:
Estate of George Page, Gift, unknown, XXXX-0126
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:
Aircraft industry -- United States  Search this
Aircraft industry  Search this
Airplanes -- Design and construction  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Correspondence
Logs (records)
Publications
Clippings
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0126
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0126

Thomas E. Steptoe Scrapbook Collection

Creator:
Steptoe, Thomas E.  Search this
Names:
Christmas, William Whitney (Aircraft manufacturer)  Search this
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
LZ 129 Hindenburg (Airship)  Search this
Sloane Aircraft Co, Inc  Search this
Sloane Flying School  Search this
Bryant, Alys McKey  Search this
Firth, Agnes  Search this
Pegoud, Adolph  Search this
Reid, Percival  Search this
Steptoe, Thomas E.  Search this
Williams, Al  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic Feet ((1 slim legal document box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Clippings
Photographs
Date:
1911-1958
Scope and Contents:
Included in this collection are numerous photographs of early Sloane, Deperdussen and Bleriot type aircraft. Newspaper clippings, photos and letters pertaining to the establishment of airmail service are an integral part of the collection. Photos of pioneer aviators such as Adolph Pegoud, Alys McKey Bryant, Percival Reid, Agnes Firth, and others are contained herein. Of interest are photos of the airship Hindenberg (purported to have been taken on her final voyage), a letter from Al Williams concerning the return of the Wright Flyer from London, and letters from the Christmas Aircraft Company.
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas E. Steptoe, an early proponent of Airmail service, learned to fly at the Sloane Flying School, circa 1910. A paper on aviation in the postal service, which he wrote in 1916, urged adoption of Air Mail Service. Mr. Steptoe was granted his 'Expert Pilot' certificate by the Aero Club of America 26 April 1920. He was also a member of The Early Birds.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Thomas E. Steptoe, gift, unknown, XXXX-0229, NASM
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:
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Air mail service  Search this
Sloane Aircraft Family  Search this
Bleriot Aircraft Family  Search this
Deperdussin Aircraft Family  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Clippings
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0229
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0229

William Carl Diehl Collection

Creator:
Diehl, William Carl, 1891-1974  Search this
Names:
Army Air Corps  Search this
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Pathe News  Search this
United Eastern Airplane Company  Search this
Wright Aeronautical Corp  Search this
Diehl, William Carl, 1891-1974  Search this
Extent:
2.7 Cubic feet ((6 legal document boxes) (1 20x24x3 flatbox))
2.52 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Diaries
Manuscripts
Drawings
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Financial records
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
1912-1972
bulk 1945-1972
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of biographical information, business records, information on the aviation organizations with which Diehl was involved, aviation material collected by Diehl, and information on flight, events, and aviation accidents.
Biographical / Historical:
William Carl Diehl (1891-1974) was an aviation pioneer and a member of the Early Birds organization. In 1914 he built and flew a monoplane and in 1915 he helped establish two flying schools, an unsuccessful school in Chicago and a school on Long Island. During the time he was working at Long Island, he helped to organize the United Eastern Airplane Company which manufactured airplanes. During World War I, Diehl was a civilian instructor for the Army Air Corps. In the late 1910s and early 1920s, Diehl established a commercial flying taxi service, performed stunts for movie production and for Pathe News, and barnstormed around the nation. He began work in 1926 on patents for aircraft mufflers and values. Diehl worked during 1927-1930 at the Wright Aeronautical Corporation at Paterson, New Jersey as an engine flight test pilot. Diehl returned to his original occupation of plumbing but continued flying until 1945, and continued his patent work until the early 1970s.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
No donor information, gift, XXXX-0469, 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:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Diaries
Manuscripts
Drawings
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Financial records
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
Motion pictures (visual works)
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0469
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0469

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