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Catalog Data

Aero Club of America  Search this
National Aeronautic Association (U.S.)  Search this
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960  Search this
Havens, Beckwith.  Search this
Keightley, George M., 1889-1967  Search this
Upson, Ralph Hazlett, 1888-1968  Search this
0.33 Cubic feet (1 box)
Box 107 (Shared)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Identity cards
This collection contains examples of pilot's licenses that were issued in the early 20th century. It includes licenses from various nations such as France, Italy, Canada and the United States.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a variety of pilot's licenses issued by civilian, government and military organizations dating from 1911 to 1944. The collection contains 52 items, and includes a variety of license types and personal effects relating to each pilot. Licenses issued by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) form a large portion of the non-military parts of the collection, with four of the FAI's founding organizations being featured in the collection. These are Aero Club D'Italia, the Aero Club of America, the Aéro-Club de France and the Royal Aero Club. The US Navy and Air Corps form the majority of military licenses in the collection, with licenses issued by the US Department of Commerce representing civil licenses issued by the Government. Included with many licenses in the collection are other forms of personnel identification attributed to the individual. Examples of these personal effects include a firearms license, an Aviation country club membership card, a business cards and a London-issued driver's license. Included in this collection are licenses belonging to Raymond Emmanuel Bollack, Laura Bromwell, John Milton Bryant, Frank T. Coffyn, Curtis La Q. Day, Richard Duncan, Lester D. Gardner, G. S. Gillespie, Paul R. Gruhler, Beckwith Havens, Frederick A. Hoover, George M. Keightley, Benjamin Scovill Kelsey, Alfred S. Koch, Lawrence Leon, Grover Loening, Zenos Ramsey Miller, Thomas DeWitt Milling, Charles L. Morris, Thea Rasche, Roland Rohlfs, D. deR. M. Scarrit, Walter J. Shaffer, Thomas E. Springer, Norman Sweetser, Alexander Blair Thaw II, Ralph H. Upson, Clifford L. Webster and E. A. Yeager. A blank license attributed to the Service de la Navigation Aérienne is also included.
This collection is arranged by alphabetical order by last name of the licensee.
Biographical / Historical:
Pilot's licenses became a requirement in the United States after the 1926 Air Commerce Act, however, private organizations issued their own licenses prior to this date. Prominent international organizations, such as the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), issued licenses to aviators around the world. The FAI was founded in 1905 through the collaboration of aviation clubs from eight countries, those being France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. These licenses often served to allow individuals to participate in aeronautic events endorsed by these organizations. Licenses were available for different vehicles with licenses available across various disciplines, with examples being separate documents for balloonists and heavier-than-air pilots. Military organizations often had their own licenses with their own standards. Including examples of licenses issued by various international organizations, the collection provides insight into the types of license that were issued to military and civilian pilots during the first half of the twentieth century.
Gifts and transfers from various sources and unknown, NASM.XXXX.0650.
No restrictions on access.
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Air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Identity cards
Pilots' Licenses Collection, NASM.XXXX.0650, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Pilots' Licenses Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives