The album, titled "The Supermarine P.B.2," dates from late 1913 to early 1914 and was probably designed as a brochure and prospectus for Pemberton-Billing Ltd. as well as the Pemberton Billing P.B.2 aircraft.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of an extremely fragile 16-page silk-mounted album of illustrations, text, and engineering drawings reproduced as photographs, self-described as a "Souvenir of Mr. Pemberton Billing's aeronautical undertaking at Southampton." The album, titled "The Supermarine P.B.2," dates from late 1913 to early 1914 and was probably designed as a brochure and prospectus for Pemberton-Billing Ltd. as well as the Pemberton Billing P.B.2. The illustrations highlight the P.B.1 and P.B.2 "Supermarine" flying boats, and provide an overview of the Pemberton-Billing Ltd. works at Southampton, including the main assembly shop, a "Supermarine Tidal Dock," and a seaplane flight school. Only one Pemberton Billing P.B.1 was built, and failed to make any successful flights. The P.B.2, seen here in drawings and illustrations only, was never constructed.
Photo album is assumed to be in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Noel Pemberton Billing (1881-1948) was an English aviator, inventor, publisher, and politician. In 1913, he founded Pemberton-Billing Ltd., an establishment based at Woolston, Southampton, England, for the construction of aircraft "capable of navigating the surface of the sea as also the air above." He coined the word "supermarine" to describe these flying boats and used "Supermarine, Southampton" as the telegraphic address for the new firm. Pemberton-Billing Ltd.'s first flying boat design, the P.B.1, was exhibited to the public at the Fifth International Aero Show, Olympia, London, in March 1914. Following the outbreak of World War I later that year, Noel Pemberton Billing joined the Royal Naval Air Service, leaving the works in charge of factory manager Hubert Scott-Paine. During the war, the Pemberton-Billing Ltd. factory did repair and experimental work for the British Admiralty's Air Department, producing several experimental models. By late 1915, Noel Pemberton Billing had become a vocal critic of the government's policy on aerial warfare and an advocate for the creation of a separate air force, eventually resigning from the RNAS to campaign for a greater use of air power during World War I. After having been successfully elected as a Member of Parliament on March 10, 1916, Pemberton Billing sold his share of the firm to Scott-Paine; with Hubert Scott-Paine as the new managing director, the company was renamed and registered on September 20, 1916, as Supermarine Aviation Works Limited.
Unknown, found in collection.
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