The Mary Charles Collection consists of documents, photographs, and scrapbooks collected/assembled by (Sarah) Mary Charles between 1931 and 1966. The collection showcases Charles' activity as a liscensed pilot. The bulk of the collection covers the span between 1931 and 1936.
Scope and Contents:
This collection, encompassing the years of 1931-1966, includes Women's National Air Corps material, Mary Charles' pilot certificates, OX5 Club material, Women's Air Reserve material, autographed photographs, correspondence, and newspaper clippings relating to women in aviation, as well as three scrapbooks covering the 1931 National Air Races in Cleveland.
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.
The Mary Charles Collection is a small collection and, as such, it has no distinct series groupings. Box 1 is arranged in strict chronological order; boxes 2 and 3 are arranged to accomodate a safe fit of the materials in the containers. Titles appearing in brackets [ ] are the archivist's.
Biographical / Historical:
(Sarah) Mary Charles (circa 1887-1972) was a licensed pilot and advocate for women's involvement in aeronautics. She received flying instruction from U.S. Naval Reserve experts at Clover Field, in Santa Monica, California, in 1929, and earned her pilot's license in 1931. Charles participated in the 1931 Cleveland Air Race, where she finished last as a result of engine problems. She did, however, place third in the women's dead stick landing contest.
In 1936, she received instruction in blind flying at Central Airport. Besides being active in the OX5 Club, the Women's International Association of Aeronautics (WIAA), the Ninety-Nines, and The Women Peace Officers Association of California, Charles was also a Captain in the Women's Air Reserve, a group of women pilots organized to fly and give medical treatment in inaccessible stricken areas.
Mary Charles, gift, 1966, XXXX-0011.
No restrictions on access.